Volkswagen dealers will learn Sunday what assistance the brand will offer to help convert their facilities to begin selling at least three new battery-electric vehicles starting this year.
Volkswagen of America CEO Scott Keogh and sales head Duncan Movassaghi will lay out the assistance plan at the VW make meeting.
Full details weren't available before press time, but John Luciano, chairman of the Volkswagen National Dealer Advisory Council, said plans he's seen should mean the vast majority of Volkswagen's 650 U.S. dealers will participate.
"It's got heavy, heavy support with co-op, so dealers will be able to use those funds for what they need to do," said Luciano, who is also general manager of Street Volkswagen of Amarillo in Texas.
Volkswagen Group, which is spending about $66 billion globally in an effort to become the world's largest manufacturer of BEVs across its brands, will bring a Tiguan-sized electric crossover called the ID4 to the U.S. this year. The ID4 is built on Volkswagen's flexible MEB platform for electric vehicles and it is to be followed later by a retro-styled battery-powered version of its Microbus and a larger crossover.
Luciano said from what he's seen, there are very few requirements from the factory beyond the basics of being able to service the vehicles and to charge them.
Dealers can also elect not to participate, or wait to participate, he said. However, the co-op support from VW is founded on a belief that electrification is coming and dealers should be ready, he said.
"The realization is, we're definitely headed that way, and you're either going to sell a few or a bunch, but I don't think any market is not going to at least somewhat" electrify, Luciano said.
"I think the dealers will react very favorably" when they see the program, he said.