Audi wants to begin selling its electric cars via the agency model from 2023, which VW has already been relying on since the start of its new electrification initiative last year. At Audi, the changeover is to take place “in a staggered manner in key European markets starting in 2023”.
Hildegard Wortmann, Member of the Board of Management of Audi Sales, said: “The planned introduction of agency sales for our all-electric models in European markets is an important building block for the customer-centric orientation of our sales model.”
A spokesperson added: “This involves the markets of Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Poland, Ireland and Sweden. The rollout to other markets is being investigated.”
However, these are plans from the Ingolstadt headquarters. On the way to implementation, new contracts still have to be negotiated with the dealers – most recently, the relationship with the partner association of Volkswagen and Audi dealers in Germany was strained, but Volkswagen has also been able to agree on the agency model. In the case of Audi, a deal is not expected before 2022.
That being said, the introduction at Audi does not come as a surprise: VW board member for sales Klaus Zellmer already announced in May that he wanted to extend the new sales model to other group brands and countries. In the agency model, customers order directly from the manufacturer and the dealer only acts as a mediator or agent.
Audi still sells its own electric models via the classic authorised dealer network. Customers, therefore, enter into a contract with the dealer, not with Audi itself. This means that important data and contacts are held by the dealer.
At the Wolfsburg-based company’s European dealer congress, Zellmer mentioned not only Audi but also Skoda, Cupra and VW Commercial Vehicles, which are to sell their new electric models via the agency model. Cupra will adopt the agency model as early as the end of 2021 – not only for the MEB electric car Born but for all models. No dates for the changeover have been revealed for Skoda and VW Commercial Vehicles.
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