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What they said

We are one of the world’s most recognised brands. At a global level we’re well on the way towards transforming into a fully electric car company.

In the UK we sold more cars than anyone else last year through our network of 190 dealerships. We need your help to engage them all in our global mission to be the most desirable brand for sustainable mobility.

This means getting everyone behind electric vehicles and inspiring them to adopt new processes and working practices more appropriate to the business of selling electric.

This is because of the essential tension that exists in a franchised business, where dealerships – large PLCs in their own right – have their own systems and processes which are different to those developed and preferred by the manufacturers of the goods they sell.

Much of Promontory’s work with Volkswagen brands is focused on resolving this.

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What we did together

The first thing was to make the purpose sound less like a mission and more like a proposition to employees of the various dealership groups.

We did this by creating a narrative which describes the journey the brand is on. We emphasised the environmental benefits of the strategy and created a deep sense of purpose, inviting everyone to play their part.

We designed and implemented a set of digital tools to inform, educate and entertain salespeople and customers as they conveyed the features and benefits of electric vehicles. This made them look good in front of customers and led directly to easier sales.

The direct relationship between these digital tools and incremental revenue is the trigger that motivates automotive retailers to act.

We reinforced these tools with additional materials – filmed discussions, testimonials and scripted, acted vignettes to demonstrate best practice. We created a lively, entertaining library of case studies which we use as part of our content provision to conferences, workshops, monthly broadcasts and social media.

Volkswagen dealerships sell more cars, service more cars and experience better customer feedback. The average sale price on new vehicles rose as our tools helped customers choose more options and accessories than they might otherwise have done. And the average ticket price in workshops across the country rose 12% – again, as a result of implementing digital tools.

What we learned

By inviting dealers to demonstrate the tools and reveal how – in every case – using them drove revenue and profit – the brand created a credible and motivating message strategy.

The results speak for themselves. The Volkswagen network is highly profitable and has weathered the COVID years well, emerging in good shape to sell its next generation of EVs.

Perhaps more importantly, dealers have moved a little closer to the brand; trust scores are on the rise and there is less tension in the relationship between franchisee and franchise owner.

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