German carmaker Volkswagen's core brand has taken a blow from the company's pollution scandal. Sales figures in October dropped, although they remained stable in the US where the scam was first disclosed.
Volkswagen announced Friday sales of it cars bearing the VW badge decreased by 5.3 percent in October, with the carmaker shifting 490,000 units globally.
Management attributed the drop to consumers' reaction to VW's emissions cheating scam.
"In Western Europe, dome nations imposed a temporary freeze on sales of diesel cars which affected sales," VW marketing chief Jürgen Stackmann said in a statement.
No imminent job cuts
Sales in Western Europe fell by 1 percent, with the biggest drops recorded in the emerging economies of Brazil and Russia where business had slumped because of a general slowdown rather than because of the pollution scandal.
There was no change in sales figures in the US where the scam was revealed by regulators.
Despite immense costs facing the German carmaker for litigation, compensation and recall expenditures, the head of Volkswagen's Passenger brand, Herbert Diess said Friday the scandal would not affect the firm's core workforce.
He indicated, though, that employees would see their bonus payments reduced. Both Diess and works council chief Bernd Osterloh said VW workers must not be placed under blanket suspicion as investigations into the scam continued.
German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Volkswagen needed a complete overhaul of its corporate culture, adding that the company "shoud leave no stone unturned."
hg/cjc (Reuters, AFP, dpa)