Having ended a forgettable 2018 with a sales decline of 22.9%, Volkswagen India is determined to make its products much more appealing to its customers in the new year. Though the products from the German automaker are known for their sturdy build quality, excellent dynamics, impressive fuel economy, and top notch safety credentials, the after sales service experience, and the ownership costs were significant deterrents to a good number of prospective customers.
Volkswagen India started taking initiatives to resolve these issues last year by bringing down the cost of spare parts considerably. In 2019, the company has decided to take things a step further and doubled the duration of standard warranty and free road side assistance service.
The new customers will benefit from 4 year/100,000 km standard warranty (old offer was 2 years/unlimited km) and 4 year free RSA (previously 2 years). The new package is available across the entire VW India portfolio. That’s not all. The automaker now offers three free services in the first year or up to 15,000 km. Till 2018, only the first service (6 months or up to 6,500 km) was free. Volkswagen India also claims that it has reduced the regular service cost by 24% to 44% across its lineup.
Also, in a bid to promote transparency in servicing, the company has introduced standard service menu pricing across its authorized dealerships throughout the country. The menu includes all potential costs that would be incurred by the customer depending on the nature of service.
The new standard after sales package would go a long way in convincing prospective customers that owning a Volkswagen in India is not a wallet busting experience anymore. We expect the latest initiative to bring in some much needed sales growth in the coming months. It is to be noted that VW’s sister brand Skoda has upgraded its standard warranty to 4 years/100,000 km last year.
Speaking about VW India’s sales performance – as with most manufacturers having nothing to write home about when it comes to domestic sales in December 2018, Volkswagen too has reported double digit sales decline for the month.
Volkswagen India reported sales decline of 15 percent at 2,820 units sold, down from 3,335 units reported sold in December 2017. A sales break-up reveals double digit sales decline across models. Polo sales were reported at 11 percent decline at 1,394 units sold down from 1,569 units sold in Dec ’17.
Ameo sales are down 36 percent at 715 units, down from 1,114 units sold in Dec ’17. Passat sales have doubled from 53 units to 102 units. Limited sales of Tiguan became even more limited as the year came to an end with 35 units sold last month. Vento sales were steady at 574 units at a marginal increase of 5 percent, up from 548 units sold in December 2017. To be noted: Jetta and Beetle sales were stopped early in 2018.