VW turns to deep discounts after diesel scandal

VW is hoping to keep sales moving with deeper discounts.

Still struggling to shake the negative publicity from its diesel cheating scandal, Volkswagen is now offering heavy discounts to move gas-powered versions of its most popular models.

With consumers still shying away from the VW brand after it was revealed that the company cheated to get its diesels to pass U.S. emissions regulations, the German automaker has begun offering deep discounts on its best-selling nameplates. According to TrueCar, VW was offering about 11.1 percent of the sticker prices of its cars during the first week of October, compared to the industry average of 6.2 percent.

"They need something to get traffic to their showrooms because the diesel lovers are not coming in,” Joe Phillippi, principal of Auto Trends Inc., told Bloomberg. "They weren't exactly knocking the cover off the ball before the crisis, either.”

VW is currently offering a $139 per month lease with $2,199 down on its best-selling Jetta. That's a better deal than you'll find on the Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic. VW is also offering up to $2,000 off and zero-percent financing on its No. 2 seller, the mid-size Passat sedan.

So far this year VW's U.S. sales have dipped by 2.5 percent to 264,215 vehicles. That drop off is almost certain to dwindle even further as VW's can't currently sell any diesels, which typically make up about 20 percent of the company's total sales.

Photo by Mark Elias.

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