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VW's run ends with 8.1% drop; Audi's hot streak continues

Audi rode a 41 percent jump in crossover volume to August sales of 18,794, a 9.9 percent gain and its 56th consecutive monthly U.S. sales record.

WASHINGTON -- Audi of America posted its best August ever, while Volkswagen of America was unable to sustain its brief growth spurt.

After posting higher U.S. sales in May, June and July, VW backtracked with an 8.1 percent decline last month. However, the 32,332 vehicles VW sold in August represented its best monthly U.S. sales total of 2015.

The Golf family of compact cars continued to see strong demand. Combined deliveries for the Golf lineup -- which now includes the Golf GTI, Golf R, e-Golf and Golf SportWagen -- rose 86 percent to 7,075 units last month. Tiguan compact crossover sales also benefited from robust CUV demand industrywide and gained 47 percent to 3,165, the model’s best monthly total since March 2013.

“We are encouraged by the continued strength of the Golf family and confident that success will continue,” as VW rolls out a new infotainment system as well as advanced safety systems on its 2016 model-year vehicles, Mark McNabb, Volkswagen of America’s COO, said in a statement.

The Golf and Tiguan gains were offset by the rest of VW’s car lineup, with an 18cq percent drop for the Jetta compact sedan and a 19 percent drop for the Passat midsize sedan.

Through the first eight months of 2015, VW sales were down 2.8 percent to 238,074 units.

Analysts had forecasted August sales declines at many automakers because the Labor Day sales rush was included in August 2014 sales, but the holiday falls in September this year, skewing year-on-year comparisons.

Audi, though, bucked the calendar quirk and rode a 41 percent jump in crossover volume to August sales of 18,794, a 9.9 percent gain and its 56th consecutive monthly U.S. sales record, the company said.

Audi’s more than four-year streak is “a story built on steady dealer investments, relentless new product development and a determination to be an industry leader in dramatic technologies,” Audi of America COO Mark Del Rosso said in a statement.

The Q5 compact CUV, Audi’s top-selling nameplate this year, posted a 34 percent increase to 5,051 units while smaller Q3 more than quadrupled sales to 1,189. The A3 compact sedan gained 31 percent to 3,188 units.

Through August, Audi’s 2015 U.S. sales are up 12 percent to 130,063.

You can reach Ryan Beene at autonews@crain.com

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