Sales and Marketing
We regard ourselves as an innovative and sustainable mobility provider for all commercial and private customers worldwide – with a unique product portfolio encompassing twelve successful brands and innovative financial services.
Together with their sales partners and importers, our passenger car brands agreed on a procedure for integrating innovative products and services into the sales network. The priority thereby is the safe handling of customer data and the way in which this is processed for digital products and services or in connection with the vehicle purchase. The legal requirements for handling customer data have been tightened in many countries. At the same time, new Group vehicles that are permanently connected to the internet are about to be launched. We are increasingly investing in distribution systems and processes with the goal of further digitalizing and improving the individual customer experience in all distribution channels.
The Volkswagen Group’s financial strength and profitability is attributable to an extensive portfolio of strong brands. The objective of our Best Brand Equity strategic module is to continuously sharpen the brand profiles and demarcate the respective vehicle segments – that are served by the brands – as clearly as possible. Our aim in this endeavor is to achieve high market saturation with maximum efficiency and a low level of cannibalization of the brands in question. Market positioning is an important element for increasing brand values. To this end, we are establishing automobile-specific customer segmentation to steer the positioning of our brands. It will be continuously applied in the strategy and product process.
Customer satisfaction and customer loyalty
The Volkswagen Group aims its sales activities at exciting its customers. This is our top priority, as satisfied customers remain loyal to our brands and recommend our products and services to others. In addition to satisfaction with our products and services, we value our customers’ emotional connection to our brands. It is important for us to retain customers and win new ones. To measure our success in this area, we compile and analyze two strategic indicators for the passenger car-producing brands:
- Loyalty rate. Proportion of customers of our passenger car brands who have bought another Group model. The loyalty of Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Audi, Porsche and ŠKODA customers has kept these brands in the upper rankings in the core European markets in comparison with competitors for a number of years thanks to their faithful customers, even though these Group brands have seen a slight decrease in the loyalty rate. Compared to other manufacturer groups, the Volkswagen Group continues to hold a top spot in the core European markets in terms of loyalty, with a considerable margin over the competition.
- Conquest rate. Newly acquired passenger car customers as a proportion of all potential new customers. Here, too, the Volkswagen Group has a top ranking in comparison with competitors, primarily thanks to the good scores achieved by the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand.
In the core European markets, the figures of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand relating to brand image and confidence in the brand stabilized further in 2019. Porsche remains in top position in the image ranking.
In the financial services business, we use two strategic indicators:
- Customer satisfaction. Satisfaction of our customers results from a customer-oriented product range and the service focus of our staff. In the annual assessment, these two aspects serve as suitable indicators for the critical evaluation as to whether we will achieve our customer satisfaction target of 90% in 2025. In 2019, we were within the expected range with a satisfaction rate of 83 (82)%. Our goal is to satisfy our customers completely. To do so, we are developing suitable measures at country level.
- Customer loyalty. Trust in and loyalty to our services rely on customer satisfaction with our product range and service. The re-entering contract rates (defined as financing and leasing agreements for repurchases of new Volkswagen Group vehicles) that have been surveyed up to now based on product sales to our customers are being revised in the context of changing customer needs and the development of the product offering at our financial services companies.
E-mobility and digitalization in Group Sales
As part of our electrification campaign, we aim to offer our customers worldwide up to 75 completely battery-electric vehicles and approximately 60 hybrid models by 2029. This campaign will be complemented by vehicle-related, customer-focused offerings, such as customized charging infrastructure solutions and mobile online services. The Volkswagen Group is thus transforming from an automotive manufacturer into a mobility service provider, posing completely new challenges for sales.
We are making highly targeted use of the opportunities of digitalization in sales, which include an improved customer approach. Our actions are guided by a clearly defined strategy that requires extensive cooperation between the brands to achieve the greatest possible synergies. Our aim here is to create a completely new product experience for the customers of our brand – one which impresses with a seamless communication process, from the initial interest in purchasing a vehicle, to servicing and ultimately to the sale of the used car. In doing so, we are opening up new business models relating to every aspect of the connected vehicle – in particular with regard to mobility and other services. Vehicles are becoming an integral part of the customer’s digital world of experience.
We also align our internal processes and structures to the methods and new forms of working created by 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 – and new lean systems and cloud-based IT solutions.
Fleet customer business
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, especially in Germany and the rest of Europe. Our extensive product range enables us to satisfy their individual mobility needs from a single source.
In the German passenger car market, which expanded as a whole by 5.0% in 2019, the share of fleet customers in total registrations was 14.8 (13.6)%. The Volkswagen Group’s share of this customer segment increased to 44.1 (44.0)%. Outside Germany, the Group’s share of registrations by fleet customers in Europe was up slightly at 25.6 (25.2)%. The upward trend shows that fleet customers’ confidence in the Group remains on a high level.
After Sales and Service
In addition to individual service, the timely provision of genuine parts is essential to ensure passenger car customer satisfaction in After Sales. The genuine parts supplied by our passenger car brands and the expertise of the service centers stand for quality and ensure the safety and value retention of our customers’ vehicles. With our global after sales network including more than 130 of our own warehouses, we ensure that almost all our authorized service facilities around the world can be supplied within 24 hours. We regard ourselves as a complete provider of all products 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 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.
In the Digital After Sales project, we are modernizing processes and IT systems in After Sales. By adopting an approach that focuses product and service development on the specific needs of both dealers and customers, we aim to reduce the time needed for administrative tasks at the dealers through automated, interrelated services and also stabilize existing IT systems and boost efficiency. Innovative digital after-sales services will additionally improve the customer experience.
Around the world, our commercial vehicles business also prides itself on products of quality and on customer focus. Our range of trucks, buses and engines is complemented by services that guarantee fuel efficiency, reliability and wide vehicle availability. The workshop service and service contracts offer customers a high degree of certainty, in addition to a high level of quality. We are reducing servicing times and costs with a view to the vehicles’ total operating costs and helping to retain their value.
In the Power Engineering segment, we help our customers ensure the availability of machinery with MAN PrimeServ. The global network of more than 100 PrimeServ locations guarantees excellent customer focus and offers, among other things, replacement parts of genuine-parts quality, qualified technical service and long-term maintenance contracts.