As Volkswagen works to make amends with customers and the public, TDI owners ready to give up their illegally polluting cars are hearing conflicting messages from some Volkswagen dealers who are either unwilling to or begrudgingly taking in those cars on trade.
A TDI owner said when he took his car into Flow Motors Volkswagen in North Carolina last month the dealership told him it wouldn’t initially accept his vehicle for trade. The dealer originally had asked if the owner had found a willing dealership to take his car.
“ … Let me know as I have a couple of other diesel owners I will send if things worked out for you,” the dealer wrote in an email after they turned down the man’s diesel car.
“To say I’m irritated is an understatement,” the TDI owner wrote.
Volkswagen told dealers that it would buy back some of its unsellable, used diesel cars withering on their lots at fixed prices to help dealers cope during the automaker’s growing diesel scandal, Automotive News reported.
The cars that dealers are accepting on trade-in, but can’t sell due to their illegally polluting engines, have sat on lots while the automaker develops its plan to fix 482,000 cars sold in the U.S. with the illegal “defeat device.” Volkswagen has offered a $2,000 “loyalty discount” for any Volkswagen trade-in, including diesel cars. (Read More…)
Volkswagen is offering up to double the average amount of incentives on some of its cars to help dealers during its diesel crisis, Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News).
Dealers, who received no-strings-attached cash from Volkswagen at the beginning of this month, are offering up to 11 percent off their cars’ stickers to help weather the storm of its diesel cheating scandal. The industry average is roughly 6.2 percent according to TrueCar. (Read More…)
(Updated with comment from GoodCarBadCar’s Tim Cain)
Analysts at IHS Automotive says car sales may be nearing its peak and automakers may expect a downturn in sales by 2017 due to rising interest rates, Automotive News reported.
Strong demand for auto loans is starting to wane, banks are reporting, and a pending federal interest rate hike could push some buyers out of the market, the agency reported.
After 2017 “credit markets are going to be much more difficult,” Charles Chesbrough, IHS senior economist, told Automotive News. Most analysts predict that interest rates will remain where they are for the rest of this year but many anticipate a rate hike by March 2016.
Mercedes-Benz will open performance centers at specific dealerships across the U.S. to expand the AMG brand from enthusiast sub-brand to mainstream performance line, Automotive News is reporting.
Dealers may have to pay up to $200,000 for extra showroom space and training, the report said. The automaker expanded its AMG brand this year with the Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG and GLE450 AMG, which are performance variants of those cars but stop short of the full-performance models.
The move is similar to how other luxury automakers
watering down expanding their performance lines, such as Audi’s S-line and BMW’s M-division.
Twenty-two vehicles on the front line and not a single one of them a Volkswagen.
This wouldn’t be surprising if this were a used car lot or a new car store that sold a different brand, but this is Jim Ellis VW — the most successful Volkswagen dealership in the entire metro-Atlanta area.
How successful? They have two locations and sold Volkswagens every day for well over 44 years. This dealership was founded on day one with Volkswagens exclusively in their blood. No competitor in the southeast can come close to that level of enduring success.
So what does it mean when one of your most loyal dealers in the entire nation won’t even put your vehicles on their front line?
Amid slumping sales and a snowballing diesel-emissions crisis, Volkswagen announced Monday a plan to offer more money to dealers for cars that they can sell.
Over the weekend, Volkswagen issued a stop-sale for cars equipped with their 2-liter diesel engine after admitting the those cars cheated to pass emissions test. According to Automotive News, a Sept. 21 letter from Volkswagen to its dealers offered $300 bonus cash for every new car sold and $600 for every Passat sold. (The Passat is the already second-best deal in America right now, according to Kelley Blue Book.)
In addition to the bonus cash, dealers will also receive a bonus totaling 1 percent of sticker from each new vehicle sold in the third and fourth quarters.
“In light of recent events, we are committed to taking actions which will stabilize your profitability in the near-term,” Volkswagen U.S. chief Michael Horn said in the memo, according to Automotive News. “We understand the pressure these recent events have put your business under and we are committed to providing you support.”
At an upcoming dealer meeting in Las Vegas next month, Toyota will ask its dealers to stop advertising cars below invoice in an attempt to help keep residual values higher and keep dealers from competing in a “race to the bottom,” Automotive News is reporting.
If accepted, Toyota would join Honda in penalizing dealers who advertise cars below invoice. According to the report, after three reported violations in one year, Honda could withhold marketing money from a dealer — which could be $400 per vehicle. It’s unclear how Toyota may penalize its dealers who don’t comply with the proposed new rule.
Two stories paint an interesting present reality for hybrid and electric vehicles in America. Interest in hybrid vehicles has stayed consistent for the last two years among people in the U.S., AutoGuide is reporting. But apparently dealers and buyers can’t keep their hands off of those cars in Connecticut, where that state recently offered up to $3,000 on the hoods of those cars, Automotive News is reporting.
According to a Harris Poll, 48 percent of polled Americans say they would consider a hybrid vehicle next time they’re in the market for a car, which is roughly the same number of people who said so in 2013. Interest in electric and plug-in hybrid cars was up slightly to 21 and 29 percent of respondents, respectively.
Getting people to pull the trigger on that purchase, it seems, is still a matter of dangling a tangible benefit — fuel economy and environmental benefit may still not be enough.
The automotive journalism industry is infinitely weird. I’m much more likely to be recognized by someone in a foreign land than I am in my own city. Just recently, during Halifax’s Pride Parade, a man I didn’t know walked up to me and asked, “Are you Mark Stevenson?” It’s the first time that’s ever happened to me in Halifax. Maybe I have the local LGBT demographic on lock, or at least the “G” part of the initialism.
Regardless of my popularity with the sharply dressed set, I can walk into virtually any local dealer and nobody will know who I am — which is absolutely perfect when you run into a salesman who states: “Let me be honest with you: I make $100,000 a year at this place and it’s made me not care about cars anymore.”
Of course, this was at a Dodge dealer that lacked any kind of automotive enthusiasm on its lot.