Volkswagen is gearing up to make online sales a bigger component of its business but won’t reduce the number of its dealer networks.
According to news from TheStreet.com, VW Brand Sales Chief Jurgen Stackmann told German reporters in Munich that the company is also looking to boost profitability and efficiencies with its 3,000 dealer network in Europe by around 10 percent.
However, a spokeswoman for the carmaker said digital marketing, online retail sales and increased profitability with dealers won’t mean lowering the number of European dealers. “We can’t send cars through the post, like Amazon,” said the spokeswoman. “They’re too big. Even if the customer wants to buy online, we need the dealers to be in the picture.”
According to the report, while Volkswagen was one of the earlier carmakers to recoil at the thought of car sales moving to the world of eCommerce, it now has come to terms with the fact that consumers desires have changed and it is adapting.
In order to do that, the VW spokeswoman told TheStreet.com that the company needs to redo its dealer contracts that are from 2002 and 2003. For instance, the company wants to bring more entrepreneurs to its dealer network and enable them to hire car salesmen with experience, without making them go through the car company’s training program. It also wants to customize sales incentives based on the performance of the individual dealer and install eCommerce channels that go through the dealers.
On top of all that, the spokeswoman said the company is launching a digitization program focused on the consumer that would connect them to VW’s network of dealers. In the past, information about a customer was known only to the specific dealer said customer was working with, but with an upgrade of its information technology systems, all of the dealer networks will be connected.
This isn’t the first time Volkswagen has toyed with digital marketing and online retail sales. According to the report, earlier in 2017, VW Canada rolled out a website to sell its electric e-Golf model to customers.