All automakers in September saw their average transaction price increase.
Well, all but one.
Volkswagen is the only major automaker to see its average transaction price drop in the month of September. This could be just the beginning of the fallout of its diesel scandal, but it could also mean good deals for savvy shoppers.
There’s no question that Volkswagen is now in a full-blown crisis situation. In fact, one prominent VW exec illustrated just how bad things are by saying he thinks his company could pay the ultimate price:
Volkswagen AG’s designated Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch warned managers that the diesel-emissions scandal could pose “an existence-threatening crisis for the company.”
Costs associated with the scandal could surpass $80 billion and approach $100 million. To help pay for it, VW is now considering cuts to its 100 billion euro research and development program, which was scheduled to run through 2018.
Assuming Volkswagen survives, which is a pretty safe bet, we shouldn’t expect a lot of innovative technology or new models in the next five years or so if it taps into those R&D funds. What we can expect are good deals on traditional gas-powered models at your local Volkswagen dealers.
Volkswagen owners are one the industry’s most loyal groups and likely won’t be dissuaded by the scandal. People new to the brand or people who were considering a VW are the ones who are staying away. Some of the unlucky few who purchased a VW diesel in the days before the scandal broke are even returning the car.
Brandon Globokar, a salesperson at Eastside Mazda Volkswagen in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, an affluent suburb of Cleveland, said about half of the customers who bought diesels from his dealership have said they want to return the car.
Even with VW’s loyal fan base in full force, the company will struggle as it works to recover from the biggest lie ever told to American car buyers. For those who want to support the brand or score a great deal on a new car, your dealer would surely appreciate a visit.
Just remember, your options will be limited to gas-powered vehicles until VW can figure out how to make its diesels legally comply with U.S. regulations.
Would a discounted Volkswagen get you back into the showroom?