Volkswagen is going to be dealing with the fallout from its diesel emissions scandal for quite some time. Everyone is angry from the government to private citizens, and although they can’t control what kinds of fines and penalties the government might impose, they’re hoping to assuage customer anger with incentives to stick with VW.
The company sold roughly 482,000 diesel vehicles in the U.S. with software specifically designed to fool U.S. emissions tests. Customers feel cheated, angry, and betrayed, so VW is offering lots of incentives to get people to trade in their old VWs for newer models.
It starts with $2,000 toward the purchase or lease of any new VW gasoline or hybrid. The offer can even be combined with other offers, except for fleet programs and employee programs.
VW will also carry over incentives from September with dealer-cash bonuses of up to $2,750 for gasoline-powered Passats, $2,250 for gasoline-powered Jettas, and $4,000 for the Touareg, CC, and Eos. The hope is that these extra incentives will be enough to keep people with the brand rather than fleeing for other companies.
That’s a good chunk of change off the cost of a new VW, but is it enough to convince a public who feels betrayed? Those who own affected diesels are particularly angry, but no one wants to do business with a company that is dishonest. VW’s credibility is completely shot, and money isn’t likely the solution.
According to Automotive News, a recent Kelley Blue Book survey found that 53 percent of 1,000 respondents polled after the scandal broke said they had “general” or “complete mistrust” of the brand. This was with only 64 percent of those polled even aware of the issue. Imagine how those numbers would skew now that the news has been widely publicized.
There’s no doubt that the incentives will help, but cash isn’t going to be enough for some people to take what they perceive as a risk. If VW cheated once, could they do it again? The lack of trust is an issue.
There are also those who are simply so angry that there is nothing VW can do to overcome their brand objections. Customers paid extra for cars they thought were not only safe for the environment, but that would be worth more at trade-in or when they were ready to sell on their own. No one is recouping that money as things stand today.
If you’re looking for a bargain on a VW and are willing to give them a second chance, now is a great time to buy a car. Whether enough people will grant that second chance is still up for debate.
Is $2,000 enough for you to trust VW again?