It might be curtains for two Volkswagen models, but the company has an unusual workaround to keep Canadian dealers flush with inventory.
VW Canada will stockpile about one year’s worth of 2019 Golf SportWagen and Golf Alltrack wagons to sell in 2020 after production of the vehicles ends at the end of the year.
Storing thousands of vehicles is an unusual step for an automaker to take, said George Augustaitis, director of automotive industry and economic analysis at CarGurus. But the wagons remain viable for VW Canada during a down market for cars, as the automaker sold about 2,400 Golf wagons in the first half of the year.
“Is it the top-selling Volkswagen vehicle in Canada? No,” Augustaitis said. “But it’s not like they’re only selling 300 or 400 units per year.”
VW Canada spokesman Thomas Tetzlaff said it was important for the automaker to continue offering the Golf wagons in Canada as the model moves into its eighth generation. The move to end production was driven by low U.S. demand and leaves dealers on both sides of the border without a new wagon for the first time since 1965.
“We see opportunity to continue this,” Tetzlaff said. “VW Canada does not exist in a vacuum. We’re very tied to [the United States], and when product decisions are made, one side affects the other.”
This year through July, VW Canada sold 10,540 Golf models in Canada, according to the Automotive News Data Center in Detroit. While that figure is down by almost 3,000 units from the same point a year ago, the Golf accounted for about 27 per cent of all VW Canada sales in that span. That compares with the Golf making up about 10 per cent of VW’s sales in the United States.
‘LOYAL CUSTOMER BASE’