New hope for U.S. car sales: former Volkswagen diesel owners

For nearly a year and a half, the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal has been making headlines. While the headaches might not be over for Volkswagen executives, they could be coming to an end for U.S. owners of Audi, Porsche, and VW vehicles illegally designed to cheat on emissions tests. In fact, some believe that there could be a silver lining to Dieselgate’s dark clouds: a small surge in auto sales, similar to the one spawned by the U.S. government’s Cash-for-Clunkers program in the wake of the Great Recession.

Car sales in America are going strong, but the rate of growth has tumbled in recent years. In 2016, for example, new-car dealers moved about 17,550,351 vehicles. That’s an impressive number, but it’s only about 75,000 vehicles higher than 2015’s tally – a growth rate of just 0.4 percent. Analysts believe this year’s gains will be even slimmer, closer to 50,000 vehicles. However, what they haven’t taken into account is the hundreds of thousands of Volkswagen diesel owners who’ll be asking the automaker to buy back their vehicles, meaning that they’ll be in the market for new ones. Read more

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