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Official car sales figures released Wednesday suggest Volkswagen sales in Australia have been affected by recent negative media coverage that led to a recall.

VW registered a drop of nearly 20 per cent compared with this time last year, selling 1226 fewer vehicles than June 2012.

The German brand still sold 5220 for June 2013 but the company will be concerned by such a notable decline after it was forced to respond to intensive reporting by Fairfax Media over safety issues relating to its DSG gearboxes.

Its most famous car, the Golf hatchback (main image), fell 56 per cent year on year, while Jetta (down 59%), Golf Cabrio (down 53%) and Passat (down 34%) contributed to the lower result.

VW Amarok single cab

VW Amarok

There were positive results for a number of VWs, however, notably the Polo city car (up 73%), Transporter (up 46%) and Amarok 4×4 ute (up 129%).

Volkswagen Australia pointed to the areas where it performed well in June though hasn’t offered a clear-cut denial that public perception during the month may have hindered sales.

“While we have noticed a drop in Volkswagen Passenger Vehicle sales for June, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has had its best month on record,” the company said in an email statement to CarAdvice.

VW DSG double clutches_RS2

Cutaway part of VW’s dual-clutch ‘DSG’ gearbox.

“It is also worth noting, highlighting Volkswagen’s diversity in its range, both Polo and Amarok have seen strong sales in June.

“Given that a number of our volume sellers are currently in run-out, we look forward to introducing new models to our customers later in the year and early next year.”

June was a strong month for the majority of car makers, including a number of records for certain brands including Audi, Mazda and Nissan.

Click to read CarAdvice’s report on the best-selling cars of June 2013.




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