While other automakers were reporting gains in a strong market for new vehicles in November, Volkswagen said Tuesday that the impact of a widening emissions scandal caused its sales to plunge nearly 25 percent during the month.
The results suggest that American consumers are turning their backs on the German brand since it admitted in September to installing software to cheat on emissions tests on 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.
Volkswagen said it sold 23,000 vehicles in the United States during the month, down from 31,000 in the period a year earlier. The company’s Audi luxury brand fared better, posting a gain of less than 1 percent.
VW said its sharp decline was caused in part by its decision to stop selling all diesel cars that do not comply with federal emission standards.
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In addition, Volkswagen is under investigation by regulators in the United States and Europe for exaggerating claims about fuel efficiency and emissions on conventional gasoline vehicles.
A company official reiterated previous statements that Volkswagen is working to develop repairs for the affected vehicles.
The steep drop in VW sales came during a month in which most automakers benefited from healthy demand for new vehicles, particularly pickup trucks and sport utility models.
Analysts estimated that industrywide sales increased 2 percent during November to more than 1.3 million vehicles. And the closely watched seasonally adjusted annual selling rate was expected to exceed 18 million vehicles during the month.
General Motors, the nation’s largest automaker, said it sold 229,000 vehicles in November, which represented a 1.5 percent increase from a year ago. While sales of passenger cars like the Chevrolet Cruze and Buick LaCrosse fell, GM said sales of pickups and smaller crossover SUVs more than made up the difference.
The Ford Motor Co., the second biggest American automaker, said its sales rose 0.4 percent to 187,000 vehicles in November. The company reported a 10 percent increase in sales of its F-series pickup, which was the best-selling vehicle of any kind in the nation. Overall, Ford said its car sales fell almost 13 percent, while trucks and SUVs increased more than 18 percent.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said its sales increased 3 percent to 175,000 vehicles during the month. While sales of its Chrysler and Dodge cars fell in November, the company’s Jeep division had a 20 percent gain.
Among foreign automakers, Toyota said its sales increased 3.4 percent and Nissan reported a 3.8 percent gain. Honda, however, fell 5.2 percent.