WASHINGTON -- Key redesigned models drove Audi to another monthly record while sales at sibling brand Volkswagen continued to fall in July.
Audi sales rose 4 percent to 18,364 last month, marking the brand’s 67th consecutive monthly U.S. sales record and 81st straight U.S. sales increase. The run of consecutive monthly gains is the longest of any brand in the U.S. auto industry, according to the Automotive News Data Center. For the year, Audi sales were up 3.6 percent.
Sales of the redesigned A4 sedan, launched this year, 18 percent last month. The second-generation Q7 crossover, which went on sale in January, posted a 20 percent gain.
“A robust dealer network has helped us successfully launch and promote several of our most important models this year, and that’s strengthened our sales amid the tightening premium market,” Audi of America COO Mark Del Rosso said in a statement. “Consumers and the marketplace have rewarded the brand with continued growth, which we do not take for granted.”
The Volkswagen brand, dogged by the scandal surrounding its diesel emissions, continued to shed volume in July, posting its ninth straight month of lower U.S. sales.
Volkswagen’s U.S. sales fell 8 percent last month to 28,758, its lowest July total since 2010. Sales were down 14 percent through July.
A U.S. judge granted preliminary approval for VW’s plan to buy back or repair some 475,000 2.0-liter diesels with rigged emissions software last month. The approval allowed Volkswagen to begin notifying eligible owners of their rights under the plan, which will give owners who sell their vehicle back to VW cash payouts of up to $10,000, in addition to the pre-scandal value of their car.
The buybacks can begin once the plan receives final approval from the U.S. court in San Francisco overseeing the VW diesel scandal litigation. A hearing is set for Oct. 18.
Plans for how to address some 85,000 VW, Audi and Porsche vehicles with noncompliant 3.0-liter diesel engines are still being hammered out by Volkswagen AG and U.S. regulators. The California Air Resources Board last month rejected a recall plan covering 16,000 of the vehicles in California.