Volkswagen brand sales remain reasonably flat, down 1.6% in November, but the Audi luxury marque posts a 12.1% gain over year-ago on the strength of the Q5 and Q7 CUVs, which were up 30.6% and 26.4%, respectively.
The 5-passenger Q5 was Audi’s best seller in November, notching 5,467 deliveries, while the 3-row Q7 was a distant second, with 3,292 sales in the U.S., according to WardsAuto data.
But the rest of Audi’s results reflect continued consumer demand for utility vehicles while sedans, coupes and roadsters languish on dealer lots. Nearly every car in Audi’s stable was down substantially based on daily sales rate (25 days both this year and last): A3 (-33.4%), A4 (-14.4%), A6 (-12.5%), A7 (-21.4%) and A8 (-36.7%).
The only bright spot in the car lineup was the redesigned A5, which grew its sales to 2,243 units from year-ago, when the old model was being phased out.
On the strength of the A5, Q5 and Q7, Audi delivered 19,195 vehicles in the U.S. in November, up from 17,118 last year. Year-to-date, Audi has sold 199,434 vehicles, up 6.7% from like-2016.
The story is similar for the mainstream VW brand, which has two new entries in the CUV market, the 3-row Atlas and 5-passenger Tiguan. The Atlas posted 5,154 deliveries in November, just behind the new Tiguan, at 5,221 units.
WardsAuto places the Atlas in its Large CUV segment, while the new Tiguan joins Middle CUVs. The previous-generation Tiguan Limited remains in the market in the Small CUV sector. Its sales in November were down 61.8% to 1,726 units.
Growth for the Atlas and new Tiguan offsets significant drops on VW’s car side based on daily sales rate: Golf family (-40.9%), GTI (-20.8%), Jetta (-18.1%), Beetle (-24.0%) and Passat (-51.2%).
But VW is counting on some upward momentum with the arrival next year of the redesigned Jetta (to be shown in Detroit next month) and the all-new Arteon flagship sedan, which replaces the CC.
Year-to-date sales for the VW brand are 309,395, up 8.3% from like-2016. Through the first 11 months, VW has sold 21,049 Atlas and 38,922 Tiguan CUVs.
VW and Audi no longer are selling diesel engines in the U.S. following an emissions cheating scandal that was revealed in fall 2015, and it appears sales are rebounding: Together, VW and Audi sold 508,929 vehicles in the U.S. through November, up 7.6% from like 2016.
For full-year 2014, VW sold 548,981 vehicles in the U.S., followed by 551,642 in 2015 and 533,161 in 2016, according to WardsAuto data.