Since the sales ban was lifted on Volkswagen’s 2015-model-year TDI vehicles in mid-April, they have been flying off lots across the country, and some dealers are already sold out.
Vehicles equipped with the software-updated 2.0-litre TDI four-cylinder engine — the first of two stages of the emissions fix approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — can be legally driven in Canada until the second stage of soft-ware updates and hardware installations is completed in 2018 at no charge to owners. Canadian-government actions have largely echoed responses from the United States; the EPA approved removing the U.S. sales ban in late March. The approval is limited at this stage to Generation 3 (or 2015 model year) Golf, Jetta, Passat and Beetle.
The legality of the vehicles plus the deep incentives being offered to buyers mean that the vehicles are being snapped up.
“They’ve been very popular,” Jason Harris, sales manager at Roussel Volkswagen in Miramichi, N.B., told Automotive News Canada. His dealership had 16 units on the lot when the sales ban was lifted, with a mix of the four-door Jetta/Golf vehi-cles, and they were all sold within two weeks.
Buyer incentives range from $5,000 to $9,500 on models priced from the mid-$20,000s to just under $40,000, which varies based on whether buyers pay cash or choose financing being offered at zero per cent.
Jason Locke, general sales manager at Northland Volkswagen in Calgary, said his dealership had 20 units left in the last week of April out of the 50 initially in stock. He reported that the sale was attracting both returning customers and new buyers.
“It’s a bit of a mix,” he said. “The incentives are obviously speaking for themselves. There are some terrific opportunities there.”