Trudging through the worst crisis in its 78-year history, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Volkswagen lost $1.83 billion in its third quarter, according to the Associated Press.
But what is a surprise is the same AP report Wednesday revealed that Volkswagen's sales revenue actually rose by 5.3 percent. Mired in its emissions cheating scandal, which affected at least 11 million cars worldwide, any sales growth is significant — especially now.
"The figures show the core strength of the Volkswagen Group on the one hand, while on the other the initial impact of the current situation is becoming clear," Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller told the AP. "We will do everything in our power to win back the trust we have lost."
He added that VW needs to put transparency over its sales numbers to avoid any possible future scandal like this.
"It's not about selling 100,000 more or less than a big competitor," he added. The goal was achieved for several months this year but then lost due to the scandal."
Since the scandal hit world headlines last month, VW has targeted January as the starting point and late 2016 as the end of its massive recall to bring 11 million faulty diesel vehicles to comply with emissions laws. The cost of the recall alone is projected to be $7.4 billion, but that number could dramatically rise, given regulatory fines and possible lawsuits from drivers.
Earlier this week, Toyota surpassed VW as the global sales leader. Mueller told the AP that Volkswagen would rework its Strategy 2018 plan to include passing Toyota as the world's largest automaker as one of its goals.
Well, the fact that its sales slighty increased this past quarter — despite the emissions scandal — already shows flickers of promise.