1 November 2013

VW Commercials plan strong 2014 performance

After what the division says has been 'a very good year' for it, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Ireland is developing its marketing thrust for 2014 with a new tagline, 'Why Buy Anything Else?', writes Brian Byrne.

This will supplant its 'Let's Go to Work' theme of the last couple of years, and will be accompanied by a number of new offers across its core commercials range of Caddy, Transporter, Crafter and Amarok.

In the January-September period of 2013 the division achieved a 25 percent market share in its core commercial vehicles, excluding car derived vans, leading Ford with 22.8 percent and Renault with 12.3 percent.

To help achieve that, the subsidised 4.9 percent APR rate by Volkswagen Bank will remain, which the company claims is less than half the rate offered by the normal banks. Brand Manager Alan Bateson says the focus in 2014 will be to reach a 33 percent Volkswagen Bank penetration amongst customers.

Volkswagen Commercials Ireland is bullish about the market over the next few years, forecasting unit sales to reach 15,000 by 2018 — a 75 percent increase on 2013 volumes.

A Trendline trim is being offered for 2014 in the Caddy, at €1,140 plus VAT. Introduced last year in the Transporter range, it resulted in 60 percent of private buyers going for the option and 40 percent of fleet orders. As a package including Bluetooth, Colour Coded Bumpers, Park Distance Control, Air Conditioning, Upgraded Radio and new more hard-wearing upholstery, it represents a saving of up to 50 percent if the individual elements were bought separately.

A SWB version of the Crafter, the Crafter 30, is being offered at €21,817 plus VAT, as a 'bridge' between the Transporter and the full-sized Crafter.

And in an extended warranty offer, all Transporters will have a 3-year unlimited mileage warranty for 2014, and all Crafters will have a 4-year warranty.

Since May, the number of dealers selling vans has been reduced from 35 to 24, with dedicated van specialists in these Van Centres being trained in an 8-month programme.

Alan Bateson says the division has 'moved from selling vans to selling solutions to customer's needs'.