The manufacturer wants to grow fleet sales by 3,000 units next year from the 107,000 cars it expects to sell by the end of 2006 – ultimately moving it towards its goal of a 10% market share.
By making changes to its direct sales channel, called Agency, Volkswagen hopes to boost sales by simplifying the entire purchasing process. Not only will buyers benefit from a standard level of discount, which with this more transparent process represents a 2% uplift, but they can also be quoted a price immediately rather than collecting a number of quotes from across the manufacturer’s dealer network.
Quotes are also price protected for a 28-day period, which ultimately speeds up the process so that the rental period can start more quickly.
Vince Kinner, head of fleet services at Volkswagen, said: ‘Simplicity and consistency are what our customers regard most highly, which is why Agency sales are so important to them.
‘We have invested heavily in this process and it is the cornerstone of our fleet approach. It allows vehicles to be funded with total security and more convenience for the leasing company and the customer.’
Currently, Agency sales account for half of Volkswagen’s fleet registrations, with the aim of increasing this to 80% by the end of 2007. The firm hopes that all high-volume customer accounts will be conducted through the Agency sales process.
To qualify to sell cars through Agency, Volkswagen retailers will have to meet new standards on staff, operating procedures and business planning.
Much of this is achieved through the Fundamentally Fleet programme, launched in 2005, which rewards retailer-based fleet specialists for reaching the required standards.
Kinner added: ‘We’re aiming to build confidence to get the best possible levels of customer service. We are really serious about Agency so our retailers need to be committed to fleet.’
Volkswagen will invest an additional £10 million in its retailer network to facilitate the plan.