Sales of Volkswagen cars fell 20% in the UK last month following the diesel emissions scandal.In November, 12,958 new VWs were registered, down from 16,196 in November 2014, SMMT figures show.
Other VW Group marques were also hit, with Seat down 24%, Skoda down 11% and Audi down 4%. Only Bentley managed an increase, with sales up from 73 vehicles to 88.
Overall 3.8% more new cars were registered than for November last year.
Among the mass-market manufacturers, Citroen saw the biggest fall, with sales down 29%, but the company pointed out this was a result of its DS brand being separated from the main Citroen marque over the course of the last year.
Combining Citroen and DS gives a fall in sales of only 3%.
Among the big gainers, Vauxhall achieved a 26% rise.
A spokesperson for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said: “Some fluctuation in monthly registration figures for individual brands is normal, with volumes subject to a number of factors including new models and large fleet deals.”
In September, it emerged that some Volkswagen diesel cars had been fitted with software that could tell when emissions tests were being conducted and alter the way the engine was running to make the cars look more environmentally friendly.
‘Take it on the chin’
Volkswagen sales in October were down 10% from the same month in 2014.
In response, Volkswagen UK said the fall might be due to a number of factors and stressed that sales in the year to the end of November were still up 5%.
The company said that the market was very sensitive to special offers and that it was hard to call it a trend after two months of falling sales.
But Jim Holder from Autocar and What Car? magazines said he believed the sales drop was a direct result of the diesel scandal.
“There’s a lot of evidence they have lost the trust of the buyers and that is starting to come through,” he said.
“There is no hiding it any more. They have to take it on the chin and accept that the customers have a lot of choice of very good cars.
Golf keeps fourth spot
Figures out on Wednesday showed that the number of new Volkswagen cars registered in Germany only fell 2% in November, with the brand remaining the country’s best-seller.
But in the US, where the scandal began, VW sales fell 25% last month. Much of that may be attributed to the company stopping selling its diesel models there, which accounted for 21% of its US sales before the crisis.
In the UK, sales of diesel cars overall grew 3.6% in the month.
Volkswagen’s Golf was the fourth best selling car in the UK last month, and in the year to date.
It came behind the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Focus.