It's now a hybrid between the old dealer approach and full in-house like in the case of Tesla.
The new approach envisions a seamless switch between online/offline channels possible during the buying process because the cars will be purchased directly from the manufacturer, while dealers will remain involved as agents (receives a commission from Volkswagen).
It seems like a very smart move (win for consumers due to flexibility, win for the manufacturer due to higher control over the product, and a "significant financial relief for dealers"), not only to popularize the Volkswagen ID.3 and following EVs, but also in the present time.
One of the most important changes is that Volkswagen will now decide on the vehicle price instead of "complicated price negotiations" at a dealer level.
Volkswagen: The customer is able to switch seamlessly between online and offline channels during the buying process (example of a customer journey and touchpoints).
In other countries, sales will continue as usual, at least for now.
All Volkswagen retail partners agree new sales model for ID. family
- Agency agreement signed by 100 percent of retail partners
- Customers can buy direct from Volkswagen, dealers remain involved
- Seamless switch between online/offline channels possible during buying process
- Sales model applies in Germany to vehicles from the all-electric ID. family
- Holger B. Santel, Head of Sales Germany: “Strong signal for the future”
All Volkswagen retail partners have signed the agreement for the new sales model for vehicles from the all-electric ID. family. The sales launch of the ID.3
marks the start of the agency model for private customers and small commercial enterprises that has already proven its worth for major customers over many years. The benefit for customers: They can switch seamlessly between online and offline channels and order direct from Volkswagen, while their preferred dealer remains their local contact. The dealer assumes the role of agent under the new model and receives a commission from Volkswagen for this service.