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by Jez Spinks

An online bookmaker is offering odds on whether Volkswagen Australia will lose sales in 2013 compared with last year.

Sportsbet has priced Volkswagen at $1.75 to sell fewer cars in 2013 as a result of recent negative media coverage.

The German brand’s June sales results were down a significant 20 per cent compared with this time last year, suggesting Volkswagen’s public perception has been damaged by extensive media coverage relating to its reluctance to issue a recall.

Sportsbet says it’s the first time it has offered bets on a car maker selling more or fewer vehicles compared to a previous year.

“We have done a market previously on how many Commodores Holden will sell this year,” Sportsbet spokesman Shaun Anderson told CarAdvice, “but this is the first time we have done a market comparing the sales figures against last year’s results.

“We have found that these bet types are pretty popular, but it must be noted that they are designed to be ‘novelty bets’ that are monitored closely, usually don’t see any bets more than $50.”

“Some recent bad press certainly hasn’t helped Volkswagen’s chances to topping last year, but it looks to be a close call at this stage as to whether they can bounce back.”

Volkswagen has sold 27,654 vehicles across the country to the end of June, putting it 2.6 per cent up on 2012. To eclipse last year’s record tally of 54,835, the German brand will need to sell 27,182 cars in the second half of the year – an average of 4530 per month.

For punters who believe VW can recover with a strong second half of the year, Sportsbet is offering $2 for them to sell more.