Volkswagen is making rapid progress in digitalising its sales activities and developing new business models. “This will enable us to achieve a key milestone in our Business Model 2.0. As part of our ACCELERATE strategy, we are continuing our rapid and systematic transformation from a car manufacturer to mobility services provider,” explains Klaus Zellmer, Board Member for Sales and Marketing at Volkswagen. In addition, Volkswagen will be launching its online leasing and sales offerings in Germany toward the end of 2021. Initially, to sell models from the ID. family, but the platform will later be made available to dealers to offer combustion engine and hybrid vehicles as well.
“A growing number of people don’t want to own a vehicle permanently, but would like the exclusive use of one for a defined period. The Volkswagen AutoAbo is a flexible new subscription offering that is mid-way between leasing and car sharing,” says Zellmer. “We estimate that, by 2030, around 20 per cent of our revenue could come from subscriptions and other short-term mobility offerings.”
In the months ahead, Volkswagen will be making more than 2,000 nearly-new used cars available via AutoAbo, creating one of the largest such subscription models in Germany. Customers can choose between the ID.3 and ID.4, so all-electric vehicles only. Volkswagen is thus marking a further milestone on its Way to Zero and extending its sustainable mobility offering for everyone. The subscription model has been devised in conjunction with Volkswagen Financial Services, which is the Group development centre for car subscription models.
The AutoAbo model is available with three-month and six-month minimum subscription periods. Thereafter, customers can terminate their subscription whenever they wish. Zellmer says: “The contract covers everything except electricity.” In concrete terms, this means 800 kilometres per month and a full-service package with registration, roadworthiness tests, maintenance and servicing, insurance and road tax. As a special offer to mark the launch, customers can have a car delivered to and collected from anywhere in Germany with 14 days’ notice. In the future, cars will be delivered via the dealer network.
The dealer network will be incorporated into the subscription model right from the start, for example, when it comes to maintenance and repairs. The network’s integration into the model will be intensified gradually so that dealers remain the Volkswagen brand’s face to its customers. At a later date, the plan is for customers to be able to sign up to a subscription at their dealer. “We will continue to make full use of the advantages of our strong dealer network,” says Zellmer.
The carmaker is seeking to reach a larger customer base and generate additional revenue. “We are responding to changes in customers’ purchasing behaviour and enabling them to conclude contracts at a dealer or online. In both cases, we need a strong online presence coupled with the customer proximity and local presence provided by our dealers. A strong brand is based on a promise and trust,” says Zellmer.
The dealers will remain crucial partners in online sales as well. Customers will choose their preferred dealer to advise them, provide service and deliver their vehicles. The dealers will receive the same commission as if the vehicle had been ordered from them directly.