Here at The Garage we typically don’t get into much detail about the monthly sales reports we receive from various manufacturers, but when I received an e-mail from Volkswagen of America about their June 2009 sales, I took notice.
Taken in whole, VW sales last month compared to June of 2008 are down 18%, but the real story here is that Jetta sales are up, thanks in large part to its TDI diesel engine. In fact, one out of four VW’s that left the dealer’s lot was powered by a diesel. An overwhelming 81% of all Jetta SportWagens, 40% of Jetta sedans, and 29% of Touregs sold wore the TDI badge.
Intriguing numbers, to be sure. So, what gives? I see a couple of things-first, VW already has a loyal following of diesel buyers who had to go without for awhile. These strong numbers could suggest they have returned to the showroom now that VW has a product to offer them. Second, the press has been positive about the VW TDI engines, and American’s opinion of the diesel may finally be turning the corner. It’s possible the VW diesel faithful and early adapters together account for these numbers, but time will tell if Americans are embracing the idea of owning a diesel powered car.
*Please look for our driving impressions of the VW Jetta SportWagen TDI in an upcoming post.