VW dealers have lots to talk about, but will they?

Volkswagen dealers, still seeking answers from the automaker about suddenly creating another brand for 2022 after its lowest US sales year since 2010, arrive at a make meeting on Saturday morning. There is a possibility.

But when that happens, dealers are forced to stick to the past.

Charlie Hall, the new chairman of the Volkswagen National Dealer Advisory Council, said: “Dealers want to know, first and foremost, where we stand with respect to production and supply constraints. “There are bold sales projections and targets out there, and it all revolves around production. Can they produce as many vehicles as they think they can?”

Last year, VW sold 301,069 vehicles in the US, down 20% from 2021. Overall, VW’s crossover lineup (which accounts for his 83% of the brand’s total sales) fell by 9%, even though sales of the ID4 electric compact crossover increased by 23%. Both reasons — production.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine threatened supplies of other components, including wiring harnesses, the additional supply of microchips Wolfsburg pledged to North America meant that suppliers’ production in Ukraine would continue and the Volkswagen Group’s factories in Europe would continue. It never happened because it allowed the to stay in operation.

Meanwhile, local production of the ID4 began in Chattanooga, Tennessee in the summer, and dealers began receiving electric vehicles in sufficient quantities to increase segment share in the fourth quarter.

VW of America’s Head of Sales and Marketing, Andrew Savvas, said: car news“We expect growth in 2023 as supply conditions improve and look forward to a very good year of positive growth against the backdrop of a year when ID4 comes out of Chattanooga.”

Still, Savvas admits that production constraints have held back VW in 2022, as it has in other industries, and it dreams of returning its market share in the US to 5%. VW has its worst annual performance since 2010.

“We could have sold more cars,” said Savvas, had the dealers sold the cars. “I am optimistic that demand will remain strong. Employment is still strong in the US and there is a lot of pending demand. I hear from the network that there is still demand for our products and if we give them more cars they will sell them.”

The meeting marks the first large-scale meeting with dealers of Pablo Di Si, the new CEO of VW of America, who has been visiting dealers and attending regional meetings since succeeding Scott Keogh on September 1. It will be a direct audience. It’s about hearing from Pablo himself,” Hall said.

Hall said the dealer had a message about the Scout brand that Di Si wanted to pass on to his boss in Wolfsburg. The German automaker revived the brand last year.Keogh is now CEO of Scout.

“We would love to have the Scout car in the Volkswagen showroom,” Hall told Automotive News. “The dealer will tell you. [VW of America management] Being able to carry out the vision of a Scout. We share the same vision, so we have an idea of ​​what it is. We have been looking for such a product in our showroom for a long time. Blends perfectly with our rest of our range. ”

But Savvas said VW’s brand leaders, who cannot speak for Scout management, may need to advise dealers to “focus on what they can control”, their own brand.

“What we have under our control is good,” said Savvas.

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