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Audi shares fall as September sales plummet

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Audi shares are trading lower Friday, after the German luxury car maker reported a 56% drop in sales across Europe, in September. It also warned of further steep sales fluctuations, month-to-month, due to tougher anti-pollution rules.

By 1250 BST, Audi shares were 0.51% lower at €784.00. The stock has moved mainly higher in recent weeks.

Audi sales drop

Audi said Friday that total global Audi sales totalled 139,150 in September, a 22% decline from the same month a year earlier. The fall was led by a steep drop in European sales; Audi sold 37,200 vehicles in Europe in September, a 55.5% decline from the same period in 2017.

Audi said that “the increasingly empty stores and the restrictions in the sales portfolio had an adverse effect on deliveries in September”. The declines come as stricter anti-pollution rules are put into place across Europe, causing bottlenecks in the car makers supply process as it ensures all its vehicles adhere to them.

Specifically, in Germany, Audi dealers collectively reported a 69.4% drop. Audi said this came as German manufacturers can now only register 10% of their previous year volume of cars, that were approved by the previous, NEDC test method.

 “We expected challenging months and are responding actively to the situation,” says Bram Schot, temporary Chairman of the Board of Management and Board Member for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG.

“Week after week we once again have more engine/transmission variants in our portfolio and the feedback on our new models is very positive,” Schot added.

Despite the steep decline in sales during September 2018, the German business continues to anticipate total sales across 2018 will end at a similar level to 2017.

Sales in China, US, rise

While the notable European sales decline adversely hit the total figure, the September sales report wasn’t all bad news.

Sales of Audi vehicles across China rose 12.5% to 65,767 in September compared with a year earlier. And, in the US, Audi sold 19,350 vehicles, a 1.2% increase from September 2018. Sales in Mexico, meanwhile, surged 24.6% to 1,237 vehicles.

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