Volkswagen aiming to drive online car sales in Europe

By Johan De Mulder

Volkswagen has admitted that it's considering a drive to push a section of its car sales online.

The German manufacturer, the second biggest in the world's automotive industry, has previously shown stubbornness to embrace e-commerce, even in the wake of Amazon dipping its toes in the same market.

According to brand sales chief Juergen Stackmann, however, the company will introduce online car sales as part of a wider, 'customer-centric' digitalisation programme.

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Volkswagen is looking to increase profitability and efficiency in Europe by 10%, though its digital push isn't expected to come to the detriment of its dealers on the continent.

Dealer contracts - which haven't changed since 2003 - will be modernised in line with the programme and all dealers will have access to customer information and sales history through a central database.

"We can’t send cars through the post, like Amazon," said a spokeswoman. "They’re too big. Even if the customer wants to buy online, we need the dealers to be in the picture."

Volkswagen did experiment with e-commerce in Canada earlier this year when it launched its own platform to sell its e-Golf model.

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