The front grille of the new VW Budde concept David Becker, Getty Images

VW ROUNDUP: EU Market Up, But VW, Renault Slow After Emission Fears

On the other side of the Atlantic, new car registrations are up 6.2% from January 2015, but Volkswagen (up 0.8%) and Renault (up 0.7%) continue to struggle. ... VW also faces a hefty fine in Mexico.

PARIS — The European Union car market posted healthy growth last month but Volkswagen and Renault, dogged by emission fears, underperformed, according to automaker data released Tuesday.

New car registrations in the EU rose by 6.2% in January from the same month a year earlier, thanks mostly to strong growth in Italy and Spain, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) said. But Volkswagen saw its registrations rise by just 0.8%.

France’s Renault, which was probed last month after failing emissions tests, also underperformed, recording a 0.7% increase, compared with 3.9% for its domestic rival, PSA Peugeot Citroen.

The Italian market grew by 17.4% and Spain by 12.1%, both continuing their recovery from a slump following the 2008 financial crisis. The French market expanded by 3.9%, Germany was up 3.3%, and the UK was up 2.9%, according to the data. ACEA has given an estimate of EU car market growth of 2% for 2016, after 9.3% in 2015.

Mexico Slaps VW With $8.9 Million Fine

PUEBLA, Mexico — Mexican authorities imposed an $8.9 million fine on Volkswagen on Monday for selling more than 45,000 cars without certificates for emissions and noise compliance.

The cars were all 2016 models and included the VW, Audi, SEAT, Porsche and Bentley brands, according to the prosecutor’s office for environmental protection.

The fine followed a December inspection at Volkswagen’s Mexico office in the central state of Puebla. The plant produces cars for Mexico and export markets.

In addition to the fine, the prosecutor’s office said the environment ministry is still investigating whether VW cars sold in Mexico were fitted with devices to cheat emissions tests.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2016

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