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According to Greenpeace, VW is doing little to sell EVs.
Translated from German:
The research shows that sales of the VW ID.3 e-car, which has been sluggish to date, are at least partially self-inflicted. According to consistent statements from dealers, the conditions for selling cars with combustion engines are significantly more lucrative. Selling an e-car instead of a combustion engine has so far brought retailers and their sales staff economic disadvantages. In addition, there is apparently a lack of comprehensive sales training and in-depth knowledge of VW's electric models. This is proven by test discussions that Greenpeace carried out nationwide at 50 VW dealers. Despite a uniform usage profile that fully matches the ID.3, a car with an internal combustion engine was recommended to potential buyers in 27 cases. 3 was only recommended in eight conversations.
 

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The article infers more that VW dealers don't want to sell EVs, not VW. I don't think that issue is exclusive to VW but all the legacy automakers (so much so that Cadillac is willing to buy out franchises that don't want to sell EVs).

Dealers make most of their income from servicing vehicles, the servicing income on an ICE car is considerably higher than EVs. Also, many of the salespeople are not as knowledgeable about their EVs than their ICE models so naturally they will steer the customers to the vehicles they are more comfortable with. Over time, this will change but I do see considerably less dealers in the future as service departments shrink.
 

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2021 ID.4 1st Edition (on order), 2012 CC Sport, 1986 Golf (former), 1967 Beetle (former)
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They've only had one model to sell...
 

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Here’s an InsideEVs article discussing the Greenpeace report on more detail.

It seems VW has some work to do to educate dealers’ sales forces. I attended a couple of road shows and knew quite about more about the ID.4 than most of the folks at the dealership. The only people who really knew their sh*t we’re from VW corporate (one of whom spoke in both English and German). Hopefully they can button this open and incentivize the dealers in some way.
 

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ID.4 1st Dusk Blue
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I think Greenpeace's attempt to figure this out highlights long simmering issues in how cars are sold, and therefore somewhat misses its target.
  • Who ever just drops by a car dealer to see what they have on the lot, and perhaps buy a car that is recommended to them? This may have been a thing decades ago, but not today.
  • Car dealers are the least trusted sales people by a mile. Just because a dealer pushes or doesn't push a certain vehicle doesn't necessarily say much.
  • I would hazard a guess that most car buyers have researched the market, have a decent idea what they want, and therefore hit the dealer lot fairly prepared. Ads and promotions may play into this, of course, and that's where VW's opening is.
There is a very real reason why Tesla and other new EV brands are bypassing the dealership model entirely. Even VW is sidestepping their dealer network in part. All of us here one this forum have reserved their ID.4 online at vw.com, not at their dealer. Who knows how it will work in the future, but I think the sway dealers held in the past is over.
(Mind you, I like the rep at my "preferred" VW dealer, but that has not changed my general opinion of car sales people).
 
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