If you live in the US you might soon be able to buy a Volkswagen for a lot less.
According to Bloomberg, Volkswagen will offer its dealerships a wider model range and lower pricing to help make up for weak sales following the Dieselgate scandal. Volkswagen is really trying to revive its brand image in the US, and we have heard that the company could even resort to replacing the VW brand with Skoda just to start over fresh. Now it seems like Volkswagen will go with a simpler approach. The company will move to a more mass-market strategy in order to compensate dealers for the loss of sales. So what does this mean for you?
Alan Brown, chairman of VW's US dealer council, told Bloomberg that, "We are getting the product we've been asking for." Brown also said sticker prices will be cut. VW previously opened a new factory in Tennessee to build a stripped-down, Americanized version of the Passat, but it didn't follow it up with any new models. The VW brand accounts for 10% of all sales in Europe but only 1.7% of the US market. This may be because it doesn't offer the kind of cars that Americans love: SUVs. The Tiguan is too small and at $50,000 the Touareg is too expensive. The Ford Explorer, Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota Highlander all seat seven passengers compared to the Touareg's five, and they do it for $20,000 less.
Dealers are upset because they have recently had to invest in larger showrooms after former CEO Martin Winterkorn promised to increase sales to 800,000 cars per year by 2018. Last year VW only sold 349,440 cars in the US. In an interview with Bloomberg, Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the Center for Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen, said: "Volkswagen is struggling with the loser image of the past, and now in the present the brand is burned. They need a good story that assures people it's really a new start. Just adding another SUV won't do it." We know that VW is close to launching a new three-row SUV that should help sales in the US. However, we don't think that Volkswagen should just stop there.
We think that in addition to a new SUV, Volkswagen should finally bring the Scirocco to the US market. What would help VW's image more than selling a jaw-dropping coupe? We can just imagine buyers flocking to Volkswagen dealerships to buy a sporty coupe that is also practical and economical. Come on, Volkswagen. What more do you have to lose?