Volkswagen Group of America reported today that sales skidded in October as the federal government shutdown curbed consumer confidence and some of the automaker's discontinued models run out.
Sales fell 18 percent in October over the same period a year ago to 28,129, according to the German carmaker that has an assembly plant in Chattanooga that makes the midsize Passat sedan.
Passat sales also dropped in October, down 13.1 percent to 7,258 units, the company reported.
"The first half of the month was very slow in overall levels of traffic," said Jonathan Browning, Volkswagen Group of America's chief executive. "The second part of the month the pace picked up."
For the year, sales are off 4 percent compared to 2012, the company reported.
Adjusted for models which it's discontinuing such as the Routan minivan, Volkswagen's year-to-date pace would be on par with 2012, according to VW.
"After more than doubling our sales over the past three years, it is a significant recognition of the strength of our products that we are on course to close out a second consecutive year with over 400,000 vehicles delivered for the first time in 40 years," said Browning.
See more on auto sales in Saturday's Times Free Press.