FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen dealers in the United States are complaining that the German carmaker is sending them fewer vehicles and the wrong models as it fails to understand the North American market, the Financial Times said.
The paper reported on Friday that the head of the VW brand in North America had expressed concern at the brand's falling popularity among U.S. dealers, after it came bottom of the list in most categories in an annual dealers' attitude survey.
"We cannot take this in any other way but with the utmost seriousness," Len Hunt was quoted as saying at a recent dealers' meeting in California.
But VW executives had consciously decided to supply fewer cars to the loss-making North American operation because of a weak dollar, the paper said, as they focused on more profitable parts of the world.
"You just need to have enough to keep dealers going," a manager was quoted as saying.
The paper said some dealers had blamed VW for shipping too many high-end, automatic models instead of the cheaper, manual cars which they said were most in demand.
"The Germans have tried, but they don't understand the American market," Wade Walker, representing 900 U.S. dealers for VW, was quoted as saying.