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VW chokes on diesel crisis, loses EU market share

Embattled German carmaker Volkswagen has seen its share of the European market eroded in the wake of the emissions scandal, latest figures show.

November figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) show that while new VW car registrations in the European Union have increased 4.1 percent on the same time last year, its market share has dipped from 26.6 percent in November 2014 to 24.3 percent this year.

So far in 2015, VW's market share is at 24.8 percent compared with 25.4 percent in the same period last year.

A Volkswagen AG badge sits on a Volkswagen Passat Estate automobile displayed on the forecourt of a dealership in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015.
Akos Stiller | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A Volkswagen AG badge sits on a Volkswagen Passat Estate automobile displayed on the forecourt of a dealership in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015.

Among VW's brands, Skoda took the hardest hit in November, with sales down 3 percent on the same time last year. U.S. carmaker Ford could claim to have had the best November in Europe: its new car registrations are up 20.5 percent on this time last year and its market share stands at 7 percent against 6.6 percent in 2014.

VW has been hit hard by the financial fallout from the emissions crisis which affects around 11 million vehicles worldwide and has forced the group to take extensive measures to save its reputation and shore up balance sheets. It admitted on September 18 it used illegal software to manipulate emissions tests on diesel vehicles in the U.S., sparking the biggest business crisis in its history.

The admission has seen the automaker's share price tumble over 20 percent in the last three months, as well as forcing out its long-time chief executive and sparking investigations and lawsuits across the world.


Overall the European car industry enjoyed a strong November, its 27th month in a row of growth, showing a 13.7 percent increase in new car registrations or some 1.1 million cars, the ACEA figures show.

Among individual countries, Spain showed the strongest sales performance with a 25.4 percent increase on the same time last year, while France recorded an 11 percent increase, Germany 8.9 percent and the U.K. 3.8 percent.

Matthew Clinch contributed to this report.

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