Volkswagen brand sales trail auto market

Sebastian Patta, VP of human resources for Volkswagen in Chattanooga, speaks during the commencement ceremony for graduates of the Automation Mechatronics Program, an apprenticeship initiative based on a European model in this file photo.

While U.S. auto sales jumped in September for most car makers, the Volkswagen brand Thursday reported relatively flat sales compared with a year ago in the wake of its emission scandal.

The Chattanooga-made Passat posted less than a 1 percent drop as diesels typically make up 29 percent of sales.

VW brand sales reflect the mid-month stop-sale for all 2.0 liter, 4-cylinder diesel vehicles due to the investigation by EPA into emissions compliance.

Bill Blair, general sales manager of Harper Volkswagen in Knoxville, said the automaker's emission scandal blindsided everybody, but he thinks it will eventually blow over.

"You've got a few people who say 'Oh my god, my car has no value,'" he said. "That's a little drama. Bring it down here and if you're interested in trading we'll buy it back."