The question everyone is asking is how will the Volkswagen brand handle the latest mass vehicle recall?
Just one day after the emissions scandal broke, Volkswagen stock dropped 23%! This seemingly “North American” issue is impacting the brand across the globe. Volkswagen sells over 1 million diesel passenger vehicles per year and has a touch over 13% of the automotive market overall. However the brand is under siege…not only from the massive number of vehicles affected by the recall, but in how it deals with the fall out and perceptions of the company amongst the allegations of lies and deceit that are now being heard.
The future of the brand, now rests solely in the hands of its customers.
Diesel driving customers are now in possession of vehicles that they have been sold illegally and might not be able to be registered again until the recall work is done. The scary thing for Volkswagen and its customers is that their still isn’t any word on how they plan to fix the issue..
So, how do Volkswagen survive?
1. Offer something significant to keep customers loyal to the brand.
Maybe an extended warranty, new nav system or voucher for OEM accessories is the answer?
Whatever the offer is, it needs to valuable in the eyes of its customers and differentiated from the norm.
2. Help for the dealerships.
The dealers are going to be the ones who feel the brunt of consumer frustrations. Volkswagen needs to provide them with additional resources and support in dealing with the issue. Upgrades in the service department is a start as the recall repairs will likely result in parts upgrades.
3. Fess up, and take ownership and responsibility for the screw up.
Volkswagen’s CEO Martin Winterkorn has resigned from the company.
I am shocked by the events of the past few days. Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group. As CEO I accept responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested the Supervisory Board to agree on terminating my function as CEO of the Volkswagen Group.
I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrong doing on my part. Volkswagen needs a fresh start – also in terms of personnel. I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation.
I have always been driven by my desire to serve this company, especially our customers and employees. Volkswagen has been, is and will always be my life.
The process of clarification and transparency must continue. This is the only way to win back trust. I am convinced that the Volkswagen Group and its team will overcome this grave crisis.
The way that Volkswagen chooses to handle this issue, will impact the future of this brand forever. Let’s hope they get through this, I love my Volkswagen!