'Fleets and company car drivers who have taken delivery of Passats are delighted with the car but we have lost the confidence of some and we must rebuild that. We don't know how many companies have delisted us, but some have,' he said. Fleet marketing manager Chris Hawken added: 'The power of the user-chooser is strong and if people have wanted a Passat we believe they have waited but there is no doubt some business has been lost.'
It is partly due to Volkswagen's bid to rebuild bridges with fleet customers that it has increased specification on Passat saloon S, SE and Sport models at no extra cost to customers. The S now has a standard electric glass sunroof, previously a £615 option, and the SE and Sport gain electronic climate control in place of their standard sunroof representing an improvement in value of £415. The offer applies to all Passat saloons registered before the end of the year.
Now Passat supply to the UK is 'on time' and Woolcock said that meant 12 weeks from order to delivery and he pledged fleet customers would be written to again shortly to remind them of the special Passat specification offer. However, while the Passat supply problems have been resolved, demand for the Golf GTi has been 'fantastic' with a backlog of 5,000 orders to be met before the end of the year.