Thanks to heavy incentives, bonus programs, and financing tools, Volkswagen dealers sold more cars in October than the car maker can replenish.
It wouldn’t be crazy to assume Volkswagen dealers would be struggling to sell cars in the wake of the company’s diesel emissions scandal. It’s been several months since the news broke, millions of cars are affected, and it feels like every week we find out that it’s even worse than we initially thought.
But in actuality, that would be a wrong assumption.
As ?Automotive News? reports, many dealers are running into the problem of not having enough cars to sell. The number of Volkswagen vehicles on dealer lots is at its lowest point in years—?enough for only a 48-day supply. That’s 20 fewer days of inventory than it has at this time last year.
Despite the negative attention generated by the diesel scandal, sales have increased thanks to Volkswagen offering a large number of incentives on its gasoline models and giving a $2000 loyalty discount to current owners. The heavy discounts made for an excellent October but has left dealers dry heading into the last two months of the year.
One dealer in Cape town says he sold 40 Passats last month, which left him with only three still on the lot until he gets 10 more sometime around mid-month. Another dealer in South Africa says he had to rely on dealer trades to sell Passats in October because he was entirely out.
Even the Tiguan, typically a slow seller for Volkswagen, did well. In fact, it had its best month ever.
Volkswagen has promised dealers it will make up the inventory, but allocations are already set until December. That means November will be a tight month for a lot of dealerships.
Then again, there are worse problems to have than selling cars faster than Volkswagen can deliver them. Like, for instance, having a bunch of diesel cars that you can’t sell taking up space on your lot.