Volkswagen Looking To Overhaul American Dealer Network

Volkswagen Looking To Overhaul American Dealer Network

With its target of 800,000 sales still firmly in mind, Volkswagen is taking its next step towards achieving their goal, and the company is looking to their dealers for help, as they continue to roll out all new vehicles designed with American consumers in mind.

With the new Passat and Beetle set to be launched by year’s end, Volkswagen’s CEO, Jonathan Browning, is focusing on the dealer network as a means of helping boost sales. Browning noted in an interview with Ward’s Auto that the existing dealer network was capable of handling as many as 500,000 sales per year, but said that more franchises will be needed and “radical change” will be implemented. After all, the brand’s peak sales of 582,000 cars came in 1970.

Browning declined to elaborate on the exact number of dealers that needed to come into the fold, or the exact changes he was looking for, but noted that Volkswagen’s internal projections did not anticipate “pre-crisis” sales levels. On the product front, Browning said that diesels, which account for some 20 percent of VW sales, will be expanded through other product lines, but not every vehicle will be offered with that option. A 7-seater vehicle is also in the cards, and could be based off the Bulli concept shown at this years Geneva Auto Show, or the Touraeg SUV.

[Source: Wards Auto]

  • J Baustian

    There are still a great many VW dealerships that ought to be disenfranchised, because the service they provide is so bad that they are dragging down the entire Volkswagen brand. VWoA not only needs to add new dealerships, but it desperately needs to get rid of the bad ones. (examples? San Diego, St Louis, Des Moines, but I’ve heard of a lot more)

    If a dealership is going to sell sophisticated German-engineered cars, then it must have service advisors and mechanics who know sophisticated German-engineered cars and can fix problems during the first repair visit. They must stop the practice of throwing parts at problems until they accidentally guess the real cause, or until the customer gives up and trades his VW for something else. IMO, Volkswagen makes great cars, but the dealerships suck.