Volkswagen sales were down 18 percent in October, partly because of vehicle lines that are in transition between models.
"Volkswagen is still struggling to keep up with the industry as it discontinues old models and awaits the arrival of new ones," Edmunds.com senior analyst Michelle Krebs said in a prepared statement. "Volkswagen also doesn’t have the product breadth to capitalize on the truck and small SUV boom. The company will have a lot of ground to make up to achieve its ambitious goal to sell 800,000 vehicles—about double this year’s anticipated sales—in 2018."
But overall, Volkswagen leaders had been prepared for a slower sales pace.
"After more than doubling our sales over the past three years, it is a significant recognition of the strength of our products that we are on course to close out a second consecutive year with over 400,000 vehicles delivered for the first time in 40 years," Jonathan Browning, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, said.
The government shutdown also affected sales somewhat earlier in the month, he said.
"Out outlook is a little more cautious than it was before the shutdown," he said.
In October, Volkswagen sold a total of 28,129 vehicles, including 7,258 of the locally made Passat.
High-mileage, TDI clean-diesel models accounted for 24.2 percent of sales in October and 22 percent of sales year-to-date, the best year-to-date results on record.
Passat TDI sales reached 33.3 percent of the mix with 2,416 units—the best October results ever.
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