Volkswagen dealers are demanding higher incentives to help move 7-year-old core products that won't be replaced for another year.
"The mood of the dealers is not good," Gene Langan, chairman of the Volkswagen National Dealer Council, said after Sunday's VW make meeting. "Our impression is that Volkswagen is laying down this year. We're saying, let's not give away '04."
VW dealers have invested heavily in their stores in recent years, many of them building exclusive VW Marketplace dealerships, Langan said. Now it's time for VW to show a commitment to the dealers in what has started off as a terrible year, he said.
"The dealers want a commitment from Volkswagen to keep our volumes up until 2005," Langan said.
But at Sunday's make meeting, Volkswagen of America was noncommittal. "Our dealers are a little bit restless," said Gerd Klauss, CEO of Volkswagen of America, after the sometimes testy meeting. In 2005, the core products - Passat, Jetta, Golf and New Beetle - will be revamped, Klauss said.