SANTA MONICA, California — Edmunds.com is projecting that Volkswagen sales will remain flat from October 2014, as the German automaker struggles to regain traction with car shoppers as the diesel-emissions crisis drags on.
Edmunds.com anticipates that Volkswagen/Audi will combine to grow sales 5.1 percent from the same period a year ago.
But Audi appears to be responsible for all of that growth.
Audi's October sales will increase 15.3 percent year over year, while VW's brand sales will remain flat from October 2014.
"In this year of booming auto sales, no automaker should be relieved to see flat year-over-year performance, but this may be the best that Volkswagen can hope for this month," said Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. "Until VW starts down a road to recovery by informing owners of a specific fix to their diesel vehicles, the company is likely to make far fewer sales than this surging market would otherwise deliver to them."
Overall industry sales are projected to be a 1 percent decrease from September 2015, but an 11.5 percent increase from October 2014. This will be the best October sales performance since 2001.
In mid-September, the EPA said that some of the German automaker's diesel vehicles made since 2009 had a so-called "defeat device" designed to skirt emissions tests in violation of the U.S. Clean Air Act.
The affected Volkswagen cars in the U.S. number around 482,000. Volkswagen has issued a "profound apology" to customers and is in the process of determining a recall repair.
"We cannot offer a firm date now because we need to work on the remedy and review it with the government. We are proceeding as quickly as possible," said Volkswagen Group of America in a statement on its microsite.
Edmunds says: VW's October sales are likely to be a black mark on an otherwise strong sales month for the industry.