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VW US sales rise despite scandal

New VW cars Image copyright PA

German carmaker Volkswagen increased sales in the US in October as the emissions scandal entangling the company mounts.

On Monday US regulators said an extra 800,000 cars had been identified as using devices that concealed emission levels during testing.

The carmaker sold 30,387 cars in October, a rise of 0.24% compared with the same month last year.

In a statement VW thanked its customers for "their patience and loyalty".

"Volkswagen is committed to making things right and actively working to restore trust," said Volkswagen America's chief operating officer Mark McNabb.

Sales of the company's Golf line increased 40.2% compared to October last year. The Jetta and the Beetle, though, both took hits with sales decreasing 41.5% and 34.1% respectively.

Other US car companies reported double digit gains. GM rose 16% and sales of Ford rose 13% in October.

Volkswagen sales have been down throughout the year, mostly driven by its poor performance in the sale of larger cars and trucks that are popular in the US. Year to date sales are down 2.19%.

In September the company stopped selling six diesel car models after US regulators uncovered software code designed to cheat emissions tests.

The affected models were:

•VW Jetta TDI (Model Years 2009 - 2015)

•VW Jetta SportWagen TDI (Model Years 2009-2014)

•VW Golf TDI (Model Years 2010-2015)

•VW Golf SportWagen TDI (Model Year 2015)

•VW Beetle TDI and VW Beetle Convertible TDI (Model Years 2012 - 2015)

•VW Passat TDI (Model Years 2012-2015)

Sales of the Touareg TDI - one of the few diesel cars Volkswagen was not ordered to stop selling - stood at 416 vehicles.

Volkswagen has replaced its chief executive and apologised to customers.

However, a new report from environmental regulators on Monday suggested the company used the emission-concealing software in more vehicles than previously uncovered.

"It's the intentional deceit that bothers consumers and Volkswagen hasn't laid out its plan for how it is going to fix this. They need to lay out a plan before they can begin to turn the corner," said Michelle Krebs senior analyst for AutoTrader.com.

Industry growth

Cheap fuel prices and the low cost of borrowing helped other US carmakers boost sales throughout the year.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sales of GM's Chevrolet Crossovers were up 58% in October compared with the same month last year

Purchases of GM cars have been up for 24 months in a row. Sport utility vehicles and trucks were a major driver of this trend. October's increases have mostly been attributed to sales of Chevrolets, which were up 18% from last year.

Similarly Ford, which sold 213,938 vehicles in October, had a 12% increase in sales of its SUVs compared with 2014.

The demand for larger cars in the US was hurting VW even before the scandal.

"VW has been down for a couple years because they haven't had the right vehicles at the right price, at the right time. The market is screaming for sport utility vehicles and VW isn't dominating in that," said Ms Krebs.

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