Smoke and mirrors
28 September 2015
Its been quite a week for Volkswagen. The German car makers been through the media, corporate and political mill regarding the alleged emissions scandal.
And while theres been a lot of talk and assumptions in, mostly, the mainstream media, theres been very little clear and concise understanding about exactly how the aptly-named dieselgate scandal impacts the UK market.
Sure, there are new people in charge in Wolfsburg, but it would appear that such a proactive and swift approach to addressing the matter hasnt trickled down to the shop floor in the UK.
After reading various trade media stories and talking to retailers at the sharp end of this situation, its clear that leadership and guidance from Volkswagen UK has been lacking.
At a corporate level Volkswagens reputation has, undeniably, been harmed. But why should a retailer suffer by association or have to fend for themselves? Attempting to confidently field calls – despite a lack of information – from worried customers and noting a drop in footfall is far from ideal, yet this is whats been happening.
Granted, its been a rollercoaster week for all concerned, but its at times like these that a retailer should be able to rely on a manufacturer. It shouldnt be a one-way street, after all. Basic technical support and, dare I say it, a dusting off of the crisis management manual is the least a franchisee should expect.
Not a Volkswagen Group retailer? Lucky you. However, complacency is your enemy and Id suggest using this opportunity to learn and make your own crisis plan. Just in case.
Auto Retail Network