VW starts new price offensive

WOLFSBURG, Germany. Volkswagen is introducing a series of new incentives to boost flagging sales in Germany.

Business with fleet customers is the focus and Georg Flandorfer, sales director for the Volkswagen brand, believes this will result in a significant sales increase.

VW is offering a special 2,400 euro discount on the Phaeton luxury sedan with the new turbocharged V-6 diesel engine. According to an internal letter that was made available to Automobilwoche, the incentive should boost sales to fleet customers. VW will bear the costs of the incentive program without passing any of it on to dealers.

Fleet customers can also put in large orders for the Golf V with the "mobility package" at a discount of 900 euros per car. Among other things, the package includes an alarm system and a hands-free telephone cradle.

VW has also started new leasing programs for fleet customers that cover the Polo. Volkswagen also promised its dealers "reduced used-car prices for leasing vehicles from the plant staff business."

VW announced a "conquest premium" for the Golf Plus even before the raised roof model was launched last Friday.

However, dealers are annoyed about long delivery periods for high-demand options for the Golf Plus such as automatic and direct manual transmissions, which won't be available until mid-May at the earliest.

A four-wheel-drive version of the new model, a Golf Plus 4Motion, is "currently not planned," sources say.

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