Sales and Marketing
Our unique product portfolio is comprised of twelve successful brands including innovative financing services.
Brand diversity in the Volkswagen Group
At the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, the customer's wishes are the driving force behind our developments and decisions. This enables us to offer innovations and automotive solutions that excite our customers, and are at the same time affordable. The brand’s vision is “Moving people and driving them forwards”. Its medium-to-long-term objective is to become a world market leader in e-mobility. In light of the diesel issue in particular, the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand has defined four areas of innovation: first, intelligent and attractive sustainability; second, automated driving; third, connecting customers, manufacturer and product; and fourth, intuitive usability. Our aim is to implement these innovations in an inspiring, future-oriented way. In addition, we are doing everything in our power to restore trust and to continue to convince our customers of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand.
“Vorsprung” is an active brand promise that is delivered throughout the world, making Audi one of the most highly desired brands in the premium segment. For the progressive target group, “Vorsprung” will also mean greater personal freedom for self-determined mobility in the future. Audi creates this freedom for its customers by giving them a simplified, surprising, interconnected brand experience.
Intelligent concepts and excellent value for money are the hallmarks of the successful ŠKODA brand. “Simply Clever” combines future-oriented functionality with an impressive space concept that is technically simple but delivers sophisticated and practical features.
Design, passion, quality and ongoing evolution are the distinctive characteristics of the youthful, dynamic Spanish brand SEAT. Its goal of combining technological precision and superb engineering with emotional design is expressed in SEAT’s “TECHNOLOGY TO ENJOY” slogan.
Exclusivity and social acceptance, tradition and innovation, performance and everyday usability, design and functionality – these are the brand values of sports car manufacturer Porsche. True to its philosophy of “achieving maximum output from minimum input”, Porsche skillfully turns its work into speed and success.
Exclusivity, elegance and power – these are the defining qualities of our Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini brands in the luxury vehicle segments. They round off the Volkswagen Group’s brand diversity in the passenger cars segment.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles stands for superior mobility with its three core values – reliability, economy and partnership. The vehicles are tailored to meet the respective transport needs of customers in trade and industry, as well as civil authorities and service providers, whilst private customers value our family-friendly MPVs and recreational motor homes.
The Swedish brand Scania's core values are “customer first”, “respect for the individual” and “quality”. This successful company has been manufacturing high-performance and technologically highly innovative trucks and buses for more than 100 years, offering its customers efficient transport solutions that are complemented by excellent service offerings and financial services.
Customer focus, enthusiasm for the product and efficiency are the core values at MAN. Alongside trucks and buses, the company is a leading manufacturer of diesel engines, turbomachinery, turnkey power plants and special gear units.
Ducati is one of the most renowned manufacturers of premium motorcycles. Its emotionally charged products thrill the Italian brand’s customers with their premium quality craftsmanship, uncompromising performance and challenging dynamics.
Offering appropriate products and services across all vehicle classes, Volkswagen Financial Services provides the key to mobility for the Volkswagen Group’s private and business customers worldwide.
E-mobility and digitalization in Group Sales
The Volkswagen Group plans to launch over 30 new electric vehicles by 2025. Our e-mobility strategy also encompasses the development of customer-oriented products and business models around the vehicle, including arranging customer-specific charging infrastructure solutions. With such innovative products and services and our mobile online services, the Volkswagen Group will evolve from an automotive manufacturer into a mobility provider.
In sales, we make use of the opportunities that increasing digitalization offers. Our actions are guided by a clearly defined strategy that requires extensive cooperation between the brands to achieve the greatest possible synergies.
Digitalization will be decisive in creating a completely new product experience for our customers – one which captivates with seamless customer communications, from the initial interest in purchasing a vehicle to servicing and ultimately to the sale of the used car. At the same time we thus open up new business models and opportunities – relating in particular to mobility and other services – around the connected vehicle. This will increasingly make us an integral part of the customer’s digital world of experience. We take great care to make all processes transparent so that customers always retain control of their own data.
We also gear our internal processes and structures to the speed of digital innovation. The result is project teams operating across different business areas, new forms of cooperation, a more intensive relationship with the international start-up scene, a consolidation of venture capital expertise as a form of supporting innovative ideas and business models as well as new lean systems and cloud-based IT solutions.
Customer satisfaction and customer loyalty
The Volkswagen Group’s sales activities focus consistently on increasing customer satisfaction – this is our top priority. Aided by the digitalization offensive in sales, we are placing even greater emphasis on customer requirements and on service; this offensive will sustainably shape our business.
The Group’s brands regularly seek to identify customer satisfaction levels, focusing on products and services. They derive new measures from survey results to achieve even greater customer satisfaction.
In terms of customer satisfaction with their products, Audi and Porsche are leaders in the core European markets when compared with other Group brands and competitors. The other brands in the Group also score higher than competing brands. All Group brands achieve figures at or above the level of the competition with regard to customer satisfaction with dealers.
The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand has maintained a high level of customer loyalty in its core European markets for several years in a row. However, the emissions issue had a negative impact on brand image, brand trust, and customer satisfaction with products compared with 2015. The loyalty of Audi, Porsche and ŠKODA customers has kept these brands in the upper rankings in comparison with competitors for a number of years.
The Group sales structure
The Volkswagen Group’s multibrand structure helps to promote the independence of its brands. Nevertheless, we use overarching sales activities to increase sales volumes and market share, cut costs and improve earnings contributions.
We intensified our efforts to improve dealer profitability during the reporting period, increasing the business volume per dealer and putting new cost-cutting programs into action. Here, the focus was always on maintaining a close working relationship with dealers and ensuring their profitability. We use Group companies to manage our wholesale business in over 20 markets. A central department provides transparency and ensures that sales activities are cost effective. By creating synergies between the brands, this is making a major contribution to achieving the aims of our Strategy 2025. This makes it possible for the remaining wholesale companies to learn quickly and efficiently from the Group-wide benchmarking process and from the best practices adopted by individual companies. In the reporting period, we focused on optimizing structures with a view to further decentralization and improving logistics costs at our sales companies.
Fleet customer business
Our business relationships with fleet customers are often long-term partnerships. In a volatile environment, this customer group guarantees more stable vehicle sales than the private customer segment.
The Volkswagen Group has an established base of business fleet customers in Germany and the rest of Europe in particular. Our extensive product range enables us to satisfy their individual mobility needs from a single source.
At 14.1 (14.1)%, the share of fleet customers in total registrations in Germany remained stable in fiscal year 2016 amid 4.6% growth in the market. The Volkswagen Group’s share of this customer segment decreased to 47.1 (48.5)%. Registrations by fleet customers in Europe were 6.2% higher in total than in the previous year; the Group’s share of this was 28.5 (28.9)%. The clarification of the CO2 issue and implementation of technical solutions for the diesel issue helped to ensure that there were no significant declines in volumes for the Volkswagen Group’s fleet customer business in 2016.
After Sales and Service
In After Sales, individual service and the timely provision of genuine parts are essential in ensuring passenger car customer satisfaction. We use a worldwide after-sales network with more than 120 of our own warehouses for this purpose. This ensures that we can supply almost all service partners around the globe within 24 hours. The genuine parts supplied by our passenger cars brands and the expertise of our service centers represent the highest level of quality and ensure the safety and value retention of our customers’ vehicles.
The Volkswagen Group regards itself as a complete provider of all parts and services relevant to customers in the after-sales business. Together with our partners, we ensure the worldwide mobility of our customers. The partner businesses offer the entire portfolio of services, for example oil and tire changes, inspection, maintenance and repair, in all vehicle classes. We are continuously expanding our range of tailored services in order to improve convenience for our customers and increase customer satisfaction.
Around the world, our commercial vehicles business also prides itself on products of the highest quality and on strong customer focus. Fuel efficiency, maintenance and operating costs, the residual resale value of vehicles, and the purchase price – these are all critical buying criteria for our customers, in addition to availability.
Scania is adding services to its range of trucks, buses and engines that guarantee fuel efficiency, reliability and good vehicle availability. Among these are the Scania Rent Truck & Trailer service that helps to overcome short-term fleet capacity problems. Thanks to Scania Parts and the Genuine Parts Warranty, most replacement parts are available within 24 hours almost anywhere in the world. Driver behavior is the key factor influencing operating efficiency, service life of tires and parts, as well as road safety. Scania driver training teaches drivers how to drive more safely and efficiently. Scania’s workshop service and service contracts offer customers a high degree of safety in addition to consistently high quality. Scania introduced Scania Maintenance during the reporting period, a new flexible maintenance service for trucks. Vehicles are called to the maintenance workshop whenever operating data shows that intervention is required. This solution reduces the time spent in service workshops and enables maintenance work to be optimized.
MAN offers service packages optimally geared to customer requirements. These reduce total operating costs and help vehicles retain their value. As well as contracts for servicing and repairs, the packages include proactive maintenance management (MAN ServiceCare), which enables optimized planning of maintenance work, thereby increasing vehicle availability. Active data exchange between vehicles, customers and the MAN service points is handled via the integrated MAN Telematic System. The comprehensive services enable downtimes to be minimized. MAN has more than 1,400 state-of-the-art service points worldwide with modern diagnostic systems and high-quality specialist tools.
In the Power Engineering segment, MAN PrimeServ ensures the availability of machinery. The global network of more than 100 PrimeServ locations guarantees excellent customer proximity and offers, among other things, replacement parts in original quality, qualified technical service and long-term maintenance contracts. The product range is continually improving and expanding. A comprehensive program at the numerous MAN PrimeServ Academies meets the high demand for customer training worldwide.