Fleet News

VW freezes orders for Passat saloon

VOLKSWAGEN is to stop taking orders for Passat saloons until it can clear a backlog of some 5,000 vehicles. The order bank will be frozen until well into the new year after next month's final dealer allocation is used up. Dealers will stop taking orders until customers can be given firmer build dates and details of when they can expect to take delivery of their vehicles.

All orders in the bank and those received and confirmed by dealers for next month's allocation will be price-protected - escaping a second price rise which will be announced early next year. Volkswagen has only managed to deliver about half the 30,000 Passats it intended to sell in the UK this year, but is promising that supply will be managed better in 1998, when the manufacturer expects to sell 35,000 examples.

One reason for the long waiting lists is the high proportion of user-choosers opting for Passats loaded with extra equipment, but Volkswagen admits it has underperformed massively against its targets. Total sales this year will be 10,000 short of the manufacturer's 130,000 target - mainly due to poor Passat supply - but still a sales record.

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