VW offers meeting in dealership diesel row as it prepares for further compensation for US market
29 September 2017
The disagreement between Volkswagen (VW) and its dealer partnership group over the manufacturer’s handling of the diesel scandal could be reaching an end with the offer of a round table with trade, brand advisory, financial services and manufacturers on the topic of used cars.
The dealer partnership group has been upset with how the German manufacturer has dealt with consumer fallout following the revelation that the company cheated emissions testing in the US, with the scandal breaking in September 2015.
Recently, the head of the VW and Audi Partner Association, Dirk Weddigen von Knapp, has spoken publically about his disappointment in how the manufacturer has handled the situation, two years after news of the scandal first broke. There is also a claim for damages from the carmaker, with the association looking at the legal route to recover costs and damages brought about by the scandal.s
The association is worried about the prices of used diesels which are falling sharply in the country, with losses of up to €3,000 compared to residual values (RVs) which were calculated before the diesel crisis. In addition, the group feels it has had no support in dealing with consumers, being on the front line when drivers bring vehicles for recalls or trade ins.
Speaking to AutomobileWeek in Germany, VW Sales Director JÜrgen Stackmann says: ′I understand the emotions that are here in the game. In spite of all this, we have to remain factual among our partners and be aware of our responsibilities. In addition, we have set a strong signal with the zero financing for used Euro 5 vehicles. An escalation does not benefit anyone.’
In an interview with Automobilwoche, attorney-at-law Christian Genzow sees a total of six possible approaches for claims for damages from VW dealers to the Group, including costs for the customers they have had to appease; money for court proceedings; reduced RVs and updating and upgrading Euro 5 cars.
Highlighting the company’s current outlook, Stackmann adds: ′With the new models and also the environmental premium [a scrappage scheme launched by the manufacturer following the country’s diesel forum], a new impetus will come. By the end of September 2017, VW dealers will have accepted 20,000 orders of Euro 6 vehicles through the environmental bonus. In return, 20,000 old diesel will be scrapped.’
Meanwhile, VW has said it will take a €2.5 billion hit in its Q3 results as a result of higher costs associated with the repurchase of diesel cars in the US. According to the Financial Times, the German carmaker released an ad hoc statement on Friday to say the ′repurchase / retrofit’ programme for 2-litre vehicles requires an increase in provisions because it is ′considerably more lengthy and technically more demanding’ than anticipated. This pushes the amount the company has set aside in the US for compensation and buybacks closer to $30 billion (€25.3 billion).