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Effects of the Volkswagen Emissions Scandal on the Used-Car Market

Ostfildern (28 September 2015) – Volkswagen AG’s emission value manipulation is unacceptable and cannot be justified by any means. In the wake of this scandal, it’s understandable that many consumers, along with Germany’s entire automobile industry, are worried about the value of their cars equipped with questionable software. This growing uncertainty is now being fuelled by countless – and partially undifferentiated – comments in the media. The Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH (DAT) can currently see no change in used VW diesel car values. In light of this, the DAT warns against scaremongering that claims, among other things, that used-car prices will sink drastically across the board. Experience shows that stock market price movements, which are often emotion-driven, are in no way applicable to the used-car market.

“We at DAT are monitoring the used-car market very closely by registering and analysing actual transaction prices for cars sold by automobile companies to private end consumers. Over the next six to eight weeks, we will have collected enough data to accurately assess the effects of the VW emissions scandal on the used-car market. Therefore, I strongly warn against using the currently plummeting online click rates for VW cars, for example, as a basis for predicting medium-term market development. Just because such data is easy to collect and provides such lovely pseudo-plausible fodder for news reports by no means makes it a reliable indicator. The same was true during the financial crisis a few years ago,” explains Jens Nietzschmann, Spokesman of the DAT Managing Board. “A used car is worth the exact amount listed in the sales contract. And this price isn’t a result of crisis speculation, but rather the sole result of the car being sold. Users that drive a VW and aren’t currently looking to sell, for example, don’t necessarily have a worse car than before the practices in Wolfsburg became public.”

“We assume that Volkswagen AG will now develop the technical requirements necessary to modify the affected cars in a timely manner and thus gradually win back the faith consumers once had. This is without a doubt an enormous challenge for all parties involved, and one in which each of Volkswagen AG’s corporate brand service organisations is sure to play a pivotal role. The silver lining is that, during this process, consumers will come into contact with the largest – and coincidentally often best-performing – dealers and service partners that we have here in Germany,” continued Nietzschmann.

“However, we must take into account that the VW corporate brand dealers and service partners are immediately and directly affected by any potential revenue decreases in the car trade. In our opinion, market price developments are therefore directly tied to the speed at which Volkswagen AG, its corporate brands, and the automobile dealers can work together to win back car owners’ trust. During the last big economic and financial crisis, the aforementioned parties proved that, together, they can successfully overcome seemingly insurmountable hurdles,” concluded Jens Nietzschmann.

 Press contact

Dr Martin Endlein

Manager Public Relations

Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH

Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1

73760 Ostfildern

T: +49 711 4503-488   
martin.endlein@dat.de  |  www.dat.de