At Volkswagen, the hybrid will not only concern the engines. It is also the method chosen to market its range of electric vehicles, starting with ID.3, which should arrive on the European market in the coming weeks.
A new range, a new sales method. While car manufacturers have traditionally relied on dealer networks, a tradition that has hardly changed since the automobile existed, Volkswagen will allow its customers tempted by electromobility to order and take possession of their new car according to a purchasing route allowing them to choose between dealership and internet. Between the two sales channels, all combinations will be possible: take information on the website, try the car in dealership, configure it in digital mode, obtain a price offer from the dealer, then place an order and finally take possession of the car at the dealer.
In this model, called "Agency Model" by the brand, the dealer is not penalized because he assumes the role of agent and receives a commission from Volkswagen for this service.
“Hybrid” and transparent customer journey between concessionaire and digital
From the start of sales, customers will be able to order vehicles from the ID family. electric directly from Volkswagen. At the same time, they will choose their preferred dealer for personalized customer service and local services. The dealers will assume the role of agents for the sale of cars to individuals and to VSEs and SMEs. They will take charge of the acquisition, sales advice, organization of the driving tests, transaction processing and delivery of the vehicles in coordination with Volkswagen. The preferred dealer chosen by the customer at the start of the sales process receives the same commission and the same bonus as for a direct dealership sale, even if the vehicle is purchased online directly from Volkswagen. Volkswagen will however decide the price of the vehicle, which could leave less room for maneuver to the dealer, and jeopardize the personal and local relationship between buyer and seller.
According to Holger B. Santel, Volkswagen sales and marketing manager for Germany, “All of our partners have now 100% validated. The general approval of our retail partners for the agency model is a strong signal for the future. From the customer’s point of view, Volkswagen and the retail industry are one with the agency model. And this seamless and seamless shopping experience at all touchpoints is exactly what our customers want. ”.
According to Volkswagen, this "Agency Model" also responds to the growing demand from customers who want to seamlessly switch from online channels to offline channels throughout the purchasing process. Subject to the customer's consent, the data available on the customer and his vehicle are used to communicate with him individually and consistently at all contact points. “Thunder”, the new computer system, is under development and will make its debut at dealerships with the launch of the ID family. The configuration process is also simplified: It will take ten clicks to configure the entire vehicle.
This model will apply in all European countries, but will not be available in the United States at first.