Volkswagen's performance is hurt in November, but the industry as a whole experiences an uplift compared to last month
Matt Burt
4 December 2015

Volkswagen UK sold almost 20% fewer cars in November compared with the same month in 2014, according to the latest new car registration figures issued by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Volkswagen registered 12,958 cars last month, compared with 16,196 cars in November 2014, a fall of 19.99%. The Volkswagen Golf fell from the UK’s third most registered car to fourth for the month and the Volkswagen Polo fell out of the top ten altogether.

Sister brands Audi, Seat and Skoda also experienced falls of 4.41%, 23.83% and 10.98% respectively compared with November 2014.

Despite the one-month result, Volkswagen’s new car registrations for the whole of the year to date are up on last year by 4.50%. Audi is up by 4.37%, but Seat has dropped by 8.16% and Skoda by 1.40%.

A spokesman for Volkswagen said the company didn’t focus on vagaries of monthly fluctuations but instead preferred to look at the overall yearly picture and the company expects to be up on 2014 at the year’s end. Notably, VW enjoyed a particularly successful sales month in November 2014, taking a 9.4% market share against a more typical 8.7%.

“The gap is not a true representation of our overall sales trend,” said the spokesman. “These ‘spikes’ in volume manufacturer results can be explained by, for example, delivery schedules of major customers and suchlike.”

Indeed, Volkswagen wasn’t the only brand to experience fluctuations in the month-on-month figures, with Fiat down by 20.93% and Citroen registering a 28.84% decline over November 2014. The latter, however, is down to the fact that DS has now been pared off as a separate brand and its sales are counted separately, whereas in 2014 they were lumped in with Citroën’s.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Golf

Just how good is the mighty Volkswagen Golf? The seventh generation of Europe's best selling car has been facelifted to keep its nose ahead of its rivals

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

In terms of the overall market, new car registrations increased in November, bouncing back from a decline in October that was the first experienced by the market in 44 months.

The 178,876 cars registered in November represented an increase of 3.8% over November 2014. The overall market for the first 11 months of the year has increased with 2,453,426 new cars registered compared with 2,310,237 in 2014.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “November’s figures come as a reminder of the strength of the UK car market, as low interest rates and competitive finance deals continue to attract consumers to new car ownership.

“We have been expecting a levelling-off in demand for some time now – a development that is being realised following an unprecedented three-and-a-half years of non-stop growth.”

The UK’s most-registered new cars in November 2015

1 - Ford Fiesta 7826 cars registered

2 - Vauxhall Corsa 7267

3 - Ford Focus 4868

4 - Volkswagen Golf 4336

5 - Vauxhall Mokka 3928

6 - Mini 3464

7 - Nissan Qashqai 3306

8 - Vauxhall Insignia 3197

9 - Audi A3 3190

10 - Vauxhall Astra 3141

Join the debate


4 December 2015
Perhaps the UK buyers are punishing the Volkswagen for treating them lesser than the buyers in the USA where Volkswagen is not only apologising unequivocally but also offering the owners compensation for ripping them off in the first place.

4 December 2015
This issue is different in the US compared to Europe, although triggered by the same thing. The difference in legislated NOx level makes the difference.


4 December 2015
Quite right Rupert.
Fadyady and Bezor are waging a private war against VWG still.... they clearly have their own agenda - they are starting to look opportunistic i.e. just trying to blag compensation!
In the case of Ski Kid, anyone expecting good mpg from a 1.6 diesel Golf is frankly mad. You are going to have to pedal the thing like mad to make any progress so the consumption is going to be poor in the real world. 2 litres minimum I would say.
March is the next big month....this will be the real test as these cars will be ordered shortly in the dealerships. That's when we will really have a handle on the damage or loyalty of to the brand.

5 December 2015
Ruperts Trooper wrote:

This issue is different in the US compared to Europe,

I disagree with you on this. The issue is exactly the same: Volkswagen falsified figures. However the EU regulators will let them get away with a 12p fix while in the US they'll have to buy back the cars since a real fix will be too costly!

4 December 2015
That winniethepoo (+ others) poster is going to go mental when he sees there are 4 Vauxhall's in the top 10

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

4 December 2015
Many of these new registrations are cars that were ordered a few months back. I think from January 2016 we can see the full impact of the scandal on VAG sales. If people are any smart there should be zero sales for VW, Audi and Skoda. I actually feel sorry for Seat that finally was getting things right.


4 December 2015
knowing what I now know would never have purchased a VW or Audi with all the lies and deceipt,and contempt for the European customer no compensation like the USA so wife has a 1-6 diesel golf does not even achieve 44mpg it is 43.8 todate 19k miles officially supposed to get 64.2 other quality issues and bad design would certainly put me off another one unless it was about 50% discount,we can all be bought? You have been warned.

4 December 2015
I don't reckon Volkswagen will suffer from reduced sales for too long. For some reason many people show a great loyalty and admiration to the company, even though it has returned that loyalty with a big two-fingered salute in recent times.

4 December 2015
If they like the cars and they're priced right they'll buy them.

4 December 2015
This fell from position 5 in October to position 7 in November. Is anyone worried? Certainly not newsworthy, it seems.


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week