Volkswagen and its partner association VAPV have agreed on a new distribution model in Germany for the all-electric ID. family. The agency model has apparently proven its worth in the fleet customer segment and will now be used in a similar form for private and small commercial customers.
VAPV stands for “Volkswagen and Audi Partner Association” and is a body that represents the interests of the more than 2,400 German dealers and service partners of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Audi and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands. Together with the Wolfsburg-based automobile group, the representatives of the association have now agreed that – following approval by the dealers – the agency agreement will come into force as a supplement to the new dealer agreements in force from April.
In concrete terms, this means that Volkswagen will become the direct contractual partner of their customers, while the dealers will broker sales of the ID. family to private customers and small commercial customers “only” as agents, which primarily includes acquisition, consulting, completion of test drives, handling of the business and delivery in coordination with Volkswagen. In return, the dealer receives a commission and bonus similar to the stationary business – even if the vehicle is purchased online. “At the same time, the dealer is relieved of the burden of financing the vehicle and the sales process is simplified by the elimination of price negotiations,” explains Volkswagen.
The agency model ensures that the customer can switch seamlessly between online and offline channels in different phases of the purchasing process, the car manufacturer said. The new IT system “Thunder” was developed for this purpose and will be used in car dealerships for the first time with the launch of the ID. family. Not much will change for the customer – with one exception: the German carmaking giant says that configuration of the ID. is to become more simple in comparison to the process for current models. “It will only take ten clicks to define the entire vehicle,” the company promises.
“The agency contract for the ID. family is another important milestone in the future orientation of our sales model,” says Holger B. Santel, Volkswagen’s Head of Sales and Marketing in Germany. “For the first time, we will be the customer’s direct contractual partner, while their familiar Volkswagen partner remains involved in the process as the agent. This partner can focus primarily on its role as a customer consultant and we also reduce the financial burden. The concept takes account of the shift in customer expectations towards a seamless buying experience between the online and offline worlds.”
Dirk Weddigen von Knapp, Chairman of the Volkswagen and Audi Partner Association, praised the fact that the new agency agreement gave the dealers a reliable and predictable remuneration, “regardless of whether the customer buys their vehicle online or from the dealer”. At the same time, the manufacturer is assuming responsibility for marketing the vehicles and their residual values.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen is also preparing the marketing of the ID. vehicle family overseas: Media reports have revealed that the Group wants to financially support its dealers in the USA in switching to e-mobility. US dealers who are preparing to sell the ID. family are to receive a 50 per cent subsidy from the manufacturer for the expansion of their facilities. For local marketing, Volkswagen will even provide a subsidy of up to 75 per cent.
With reporting by Cora Werwitzke, France.
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