Volkswagen’s U.S. dealerships are running into a peculiar problem: they don’t have enough cars to sell.
Despite all the controversy surrounding the German automaker and its diesel emissions scandal, Volkswagen dealerships in the U.S. are having no issues selling vehicles. In fact, supplies are at their lowest levels this year, according to some dealers, which have very little or even none of the most in-demand nameplates in stock. Volkswagen dealers in the U.S. say sales are high due to heavy incentives, such as the $2,000 loyalty discount for returning VW owners.
The deals have helped offset the loss of diesel sales since a stop-sale order was issued on those models. In a way, the diesel crisis helped Volkswagen dealers stay competitive with other automakers such as Honda, Ford and Nissan, thanks to heavy factory incentives, bonus programs and other financial aid tools.
According to TrueCar, the Volkswagen brand had 52,596 vehicles on dealer lots at the end of last month, a 48-day supply that is the lowest in the previous 12 months and 20 fewer days of inventory than the brand had when it began its year-end sales event in 2014. That number also includes thousands of 2016 model year diesel vehicles that cannot be sold. One of the major shortages is the 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan, which is generally a low-volume product for the brand. In October, the crossover posted its best sales month on record, thanks to incentives and a lower sticker price.
“We had our best-ever October in terms of new VW sales, and just doing that with gas models and no TDIs in the mix left our shelves pretty thin going into November,” said Marc White, vice president of Steve White VW-Audi in Greenville, S.C. “It’s our No. 1 challenge between now and the end of the year: how to keep sales going with very low stock.”
[Source: Automotive News]
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