Volkswagen has struggled with the American car market. That’s article that has been accurate for decades, maybe dating aback to the end of the aboriginal Beetle. Then Dieslegate happened, and it set the world’s bigger automaker alike added behind. Now VW assuredly has one artefact that should bell with American car buyers—but there is alone one way the Atlas can backpack the brand.
The appropriately called Volkswagen Atlas is here, and it’s the seven-seater SUV that we’ve been expecting,…
Volkswagen has fabricated some acceptable cars for the U.S. Cartage like the Sportwagen, GTI, Golf R, and iconic Beetle accept an agog but about baby fan base. But alcove models don’t do abundant for all-embracing sales figures, and added boilerplate offerings like the Jetta, Passat and Tiguan, accept floundered compared to the competition. Furthermore, while all-embracing affection has gone up, VW still suffers from a acceptability of below-average abiding reliability.
The bigger affair for a continued time has been alms cartage Americans appetite to buy. Lately, that agency a three-row crossover—or rather a three-row crossover that was positioned at an adapted amount point for the brand. The Touareg was a nice ride, but with a starting amount of about $50,000 that was a boxy advertise for buyers who could calmly grab a well-equipped Acura MDX for the aforementioned money and not accept to action on aliment costs. The Tiguan was cheaper, but it was additionally appreciably abate than the antagonism at that price.
Pricing has not yet been appear for the accessible Atlas, but it’s safe to say that Volkswagen has abstruse its assignment from the Touareg and will apparently amount the Atlas about aural the boundaries of the Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot.
But I’m abashed a astute appraisement action won’t be abundant to get the barter that Volkswagen badly needs. The alone way the Atlas is activity to advertise in cogent numbers is if Volkswagen is advancing with incentives out of the gate. This may complete counter-intuitive for a cast new car that is declared to present a added “premium” alms aural the aforementioned space, but the canicule aback American car buyers were accommodating to pay a little added for “German engineering” after the affluence authority are over.
We already apperceive that dealers are absurd to be acceptable with discounts on a cast new car, so it will be up to Volkswagen accumulated to accord buyers an allurement to try article new.
Why are branch rebates all-important on a car that should he a hit after any help?
According to GoodCarBadCar.net, in 2015 the top three, acknowledged three-row crossovers in the non-luxury articulation were the Ford Explorer (249,251 units), Toyota Highlander (158,915 units) and Honda Pilot (136,212 units).
From a chump perspective, all three cars action a acceptable mix of reliability, value, and practicality. Buyers of these corresponding crossovers tend to be appealing cast loyal as well.
In adjustment to accomplish a cavity in this segment, VW needs to appropriate buyers from added brands and that’s not acceptable to appear Volkswagen prices the Atlas with a agnate MSRP and does not action added discounts.
Given the agent cheating scandal, Volkswagen’s balance ethics accept taken a appealing adamantine dive. As I mentioned in my column about the Golf Alltrack, this after-effects in Volkswagen models not actuality aggressive aback it comes to charter payments.
If the resale amount on the Atlas proves decidedly lower than articulation leaders like the Explorer, Highlander and Pilot, but transaction prices are about the same, the Atlas will best acceptable accept abundant college charter payments and that will accelerate buyers elsewhere. Utilizing able branch incentives can abate the capitalized amount on the charter and advice adjust the low balance value, appropriately putting Atlas charter programs added in band with the competition.
Volkswagen assuredly ample out how to advertise a wagon to Americans! Maybe. Granted, Subaru apparent this …
Not alone does VW charge to abduct buyers from added brands, it needs to accord accepted owners, abounding of whom are frustrated, a acumen to break and accord the Atlas a try. As of now Volkswagen hasn’t offered abundant in the way of chump adherence rebates that are annihilation aloft and aloft any added cast is doing. Furthermore, the acquisition rebates offered by the antagonism are generally abundant to account best if not all of the adherence banknote from VW.
Three-row crossovers are generally an advancement for accepted owners aural a cast whose affairs has now dictated a beyond vehicle. For example, a Honda Accord disciplinarian is added acceptable to get a Pilot aback the charge arises due to cast acquaintance and absolute affiliation with the buying experience.
Right now abounding Volkswagen owners accept a abrogating affiliation with owning a TDI. That attitude is powerful, and the alone way to affected it is with algid adamantine cash.
When Fiat Chrysler launched the all-new Chrysler Pacifica minivan, the cast took a accident and priced some Pacifica trims able-bodied aloft agnate vans from Honda and Toyota. Chrysler knew that few buyers would be accommodating to pay added for a Pacifica accustomed the arch believability that the Sienna and Odyssey offered. So they accumulated on the rebates and dealers pitched in with discounts to accomplish the Pacifica a bigger amount hypothesis than the imports on both a sales and leasing front.
Currently, there are several chump rebates, including $1500 charter cash, on a 2017 Pacifica; that’s in accession to dealers that are accommodating to advertise the car able-bodied beneath banker balance afore applying the branch incentives. In September the Pacifica was the additional best affairs minivan with 9,172 units, aloof hardly abaft the Sienna with 9,269 units. (The minivan game’s not what it acclimated to be, fam.)
With the new Atlas, Volkswagen can’t aloof say: “Okay America, actuality is your three-row crossover, accord us all your money!” That’s alone allotment of the challenge. The cast can’t await on “premium” to advertise anymore, instead, it’s activity to be amount that will win aback buyers.
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