Chattanooga-made Atlas helps boost VW sales 5.2 percent in 2017

Chattanooga-made Atlas helps boost VW sales 5.2 percent in 2017

January 3rd, 2018 by Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region

A Volkswagen employee wipes down the sides of cars as they pass her on the assembly line at the Volkswagen Assembly Plant Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Photo by Erin O. Smith /Times Free Press.

Buoyed by the best sales month yet for its Chattanooga-made Atlas SUV, Volkswagen of America, Inc. today said its sales for all of 2017 rose by 5.2 percent.

Volkswagen said it sold 339,676 cars and trucks in the U.S. market last year, up from 322,948 VW vehicles sold the previous year. The VW Atlas model, which was introduced this spring, sold a total of 27,119 units in 2017 and helped boost the SUV share of sales by Volkswagen in the United States to 23 percent of its vehicles delivered in all of 2017 and more than 48 percent of the sales in December.

Last month, sales of the Chattanooga-built Atlas totaled 6,070 units delivered — the best month ever for the vehicle — and sales of the 2018 Tiguan and Tiguan Limited totaled 8,061 units delivered.

Despite the gains in SUV sales, however, Volkswagen sales of the Chattanooga-made Passat last year dropped by 16.8 percent to 60,722, or 12,280 fewer than in 2016. Last month, VW delivered less than half as many Passats as the company did in December 2016, cutting Passat sales in December to only 3,015 units, or the lowest monthly total for all of 2017.

Total vehicle sales for Volkswagen in December were down 18.6 percent from the same month a year ago.

This story was corrected Jan. 3, 2018, at 9:40 p.m. An earlier version incorrectly reported that Volkswagen's overall sales rose in December.