Volkswagen achieves shock turnaround after Dieselgate
GERMAN brand Volkswagen appears to have come through unscathed from the dual-clutch transmission and diesel emissions scandals of the past five years.
A recent Roy Morgan survey polled more than 50,000 Australians and found VW owners were the most likely to stay with their current brand.
The research showed that for their next new car purchase, 61.5 per cent of current owners would buy a VW again.
This represents a dramatic reversal from the maker's 2015 low with brand loyalty rating of less than 50 per cent, just after news of the diesel emission scandal broke.
However, the recovery isn't complete - Volkswagen is still well short of its pre-scandal rating that had two-thirds of VW buyers set to return to the brand.
Volkswagen has Australia's most popular brands nipping at its heels with Toyota (59.6 per cent) in second place and Mazda (57.6) in third.
Rounding out the top five were Subaru (54.4) and Honda (50.9).
However, while the survey shows that, buying intent notwithstanding, VW sales have remained stagnant in 2018.
According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries Vfacts sales report, Volkswagen recorded a 0.5 per cent increase in sales in the first nine months of the year compared to the same period in 2017.
This could be a sign that the brand is struggling to steal customers from other brands in a difficult retail environment - the new car sales market has stalled as the year progresses.
Toyota, with a much larger volume, has increased sales by more than one per cent while Mazda's have eased by more than four per cent.
Volkswagen has aimed to boost sales by introducing a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty period.
The extended warranty applies only to new VWs bought before the end of the year but it is believed that the new guarantee is likely to become permanent in 2019.