Volkswagen is in world of hurt right now, reeling from its recent diesel emissions scandal. With VW consumer confidence in the toilet, it’s no surprise that the automaker is now offering a $2,000 customer loyalty incentive in October to prevent a possible wave of owner defections in the wake of its admission of diesel emissions violations.
A new Kelley Blue Book survey found that 53 percent of around 1,000 respondents polled last month after the scandal surfaced said they had a “general” or “complete” mistrust of VW in light of the emissions violations, while 64 percent of those surveyed were aware of the issue.
So it’s clear they automaker has to do something to stem the tidal wave turning against it. So here’s the deal with the rebates. Existing VW owners will receive $2,000 toward the purchase or lease of any new VW gasoline or hybrid model, according to the brand’s website. The offer can be combined with any other VW offer, except for dealer employee participation or fleet programs, a VW spokeswoman said.
“The heart and soul of this brand relies upon the devoted customers and dealers that drive our products on a daily basis,” VW of America COO Mark McNabb said in an Oct. 2 memo to dealers announcing VW’s monthly incentive programs.
Meanwhile, Tuesday, Automotive News also reported VW will start recalling European model diesels to fix their rigged emissions software in January. However, we’re still waiting on a plan for the U.S. where VW admits it sold some 482,000 diesel-powered vehicles with engine software designed to cheat on U.S. emissions tests.
After ordering a halt to sales of all new VWs with 2.0-liter diesel engines on Sept. 19, VW posted a 0.6 percent sales gain last month while industry sales overall soared 16 percent to an annual pace not seen since July 2005. Golf hatchback sales fell 37 percent while Jetta sedan deliveries dipped 14 percent, at least partially reflecting the diesel stop-sale order.