The new technology that will allow new-car buyers in Australia to keep follow and track delayed vehicles from the factory to the showroom has been lauded by the Australian Automotive Dealers Association (AADA) as a win for customers.
Volkswagen Australia is set to introduce the new online search function, which will help customers in the queue know the precise production and shipping status of their car.
Up until now, many relied upon updated from the sales staff at dealerships, which has become out of date.
At the time of writing, Volkswagen is the only car brand to offer this functionality, which is in addition to an online portal they added last year which enabled customers to view dealer stock levels in real-time across Australia.
The AADA says it hopes that other car manufacturers follow Volkswagen’s lead and that they would “welcome any other brands looking at introducing similar initiatives”.
“This is a great initiative from Volkswagen and will provide customers with greater transparency around the status of their orders,” said James Voortman, the CEO of the AADA.
“During this period of long wait times for cars, this will assist dealers to be upfront with customers.”
Last week, Toyota, the top-selling car brand in Australia, took the monumental step of revealing delays on some of its popular models which stretch up to 10 months.
Other car companies continue to withhold such information, opting to communicate via confidential bulletins to dealers while customers are kept in the dark.
Recent decisions by Toyota and Volkswagen are aimed at keeping their customers informed amidst the most severe new-car stock shortages, which are a result of the global semiconductor shortage.
In a media statement, Volkswagen Australia said that it has “refined its online ordering capability so that the customer has full disclosure accurate to granular trim level and specification.”
“With uncertainties caused by COVID-19 and the semi-conductor shortage, and some model grades subject to longer delays than others, (delivery estimates) are regularly updated as new information is received from the factories,” the statement from Volkswagen Australia continued.
Earlier this year, Volkswagen Australia became the first importer to publicly share which of its models would be impacted by production constraints because of the global semiconductor shortage.
Ralph Beckmann, general manager of marketing and products for Volkswagen Australia, said that the online vehicle tracking tool is designed to give customers transparency regarding any unexpected changes in delivery estimates.
“Just as Volkswagen last year brought forward its online ordering capability in the face of the growing COVID-19 crisis, we have brought forward improvements to our configurator so that customers have the best and latest information,” Mr Beckmann said in a media statement.
“Volkswagen considers that all the more reason to make customers fully aware of when their vehicle in the precise form desired will (arrive in Australia)”.