Vokswagen's ‘blended retailing’ approach has seen digital technology widely adopted across the dealer network and an expansion of services from Volkswagen’s online platforms, such as test drive booking.
2014 also saw its new car registrations smash through the 200,000 ceiling, with Polo and Golf particularly strong. However, there were substantial pack deals in Q4 and the NFDA Winter 2015 Dealer Attitude Survey showed Volkswagen take a hit, with the value of the franchise dropping to 6.7 out of 10 from 8.4 a year previously.
Brand director Alex Smith insists Volkswagen is now listening to its dealers and consulting with them on targets. Throughput per retailer has risen about 50% since the last financial crisis, and Smith says customer satisfaction has also risen. As the carmaker wants to grow sales further in 2015, it has launched a new Passat, repositioned the Tiguan to make it more competitive and the revised Polo is still heavily in demand.