Volkswagen wants to be the world’s number one automaker. Currently in third place after General Motors and Toyota (or vice versa), VW has announced several times plans to sell 10 million units worldwide by 2018 with 800,000 units sold in the U.S. alone. The German automaker is more than willing to use its rivals’ own tactics to meet that goal.
Latest strategy? Volkswagen is borrowing a page from U.S. automaker Chrysler and its “Diversified Certified” program. Launched earlier this year, Chrysler dealerships sell used, non-Chrysler vehicles complete with inspection and Chryslers’ own warranty. Dealerships normally only offer warranties on their own specific brands, e.g., a Chevrolet dealership will only cover Chevy vehicles, not that used Mercedes-Benz at the back of the lot. Chrysler hopes that normally non-Chrysler buyers will be drawn to their dealership where Chrysler sales folks can then showcase their vehicles. States Eric Swanson, Chrysler’s Head of Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles. “Of course, we always want our customers to visit our dealers and purchase a new or certified pre-owned Chrysler Group model, but now we have given them another option to consider.”
Volkswagen’s program is called “WorldAuto”. Started even earlier this year in February, VW’s WorldAuto offers a limited, one-year, 12,000 mile warranty on non-Volkswagen vehicles sold at VW dealerships. Non-Volkswagen vehicles must be six-years old or less, have fewer than 75,000 miles on the odometer, and pass the automaker’s rigorous inspection. VW plans to fully roll out the program starting in October of this year. Currently, only 20 Volkswagen dealerships offer the program.
Automotive.com’s take: Will WorldAuto have you checking out the nearest VW dealership? Let us know in the comments below.