Scandal-hit Volkswagen sees sales fall 2 percent in 2015

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German automaker Volkswagen says its global sales fell 2 percent last year as it struggled with a scandal over cars it had rigged to evade diesel emissions tests in the U.S. Sales volume fell to 9.931 million vehicles from 10.14 million the year before. The scandal...

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German automaker Volkswagen says its global sales fell 2 percent last year as it struggled with a scandal over cars it had rigged to evade diesel emissions tests in the U.S.

Sales volume fell to 9.931 million vehicles from 10.14 million the year before. The scandal became known only in late September, so it could only have affected figures in the last months of the year.

Sales plunged 37 percent in Russia and 38 percent in Brazil as those economies slowed, accounting for much of the overall drop.

Deliveries rose by 1.2 percent in the United States for the full year, though they fell slightly in December.

The figures announced Friday were for all Volkswagen's brands, including SEAT and Skoda as well as luxury makes Audi and Porsche. The Volkswagen flagship brand saw sales fall a sharper 4.8 percent last year.

"Delivering almost ten million vehicles is an excellent result, particularly in view of the continued challenging market situation in some regions as well as the diesel issue in the final quarter of last year," CEO Matthias Mueller said in a statement.

In 2014, Volkswagen finished just behind Toyota in the contest for the title of world's largest automaker by sales, while General Motors was third. GM and Toyota announce full-year figures later this month.

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