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Volkswagen rolls out online orders to entire range

VW says the move is "in no way to supplant the dealer" and will support the launch of the T-Cross small SUV.

Volkswagen Australia has announced it will roll out online purchasing across its entire new vehicle line-up.

The scheme comes at an opportune time with many working from or otherwise isolated at home due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The new online portal comes off the back of a successful trial VW undertook to manage the delayed launch of its T-Roc small SUV. The brand says the T-Roc order program put in place the functionality that has now been expanded to include the likes of the Polo, Golf and Amarok.

To that end, the same rules apply. Consumers can select their choice of vehicle and options, select which dealer they would like delivery from (or have VW suggest one based on their location), and place a $500 deposit to finalise their order.

The selected dealer will then make contact “within 48 hours” to complete the purchase and manage a time for delivery. VW also enables its customers to enter the registration details of their current vehicle to receive a trade valuation.

VW says the online order scheme could last beyond the current COVID-19 restrictions. VW says the online order scheme could last beyond the current COVID-19 restrictions.

The conditions of the scheme note that while the aim is to have the online order ability available across the site, this could vary with stock availability. The conditions also state delivery times of between one week and six months depending on the product and status of current COVID-19 restrictions.

Volkswagen is the latest to enable online purchasing, albeit in a less extreme form than Tesla – which forgoes dealers entirely and controls every step of the purchase and delivery of its vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz is currently taking online orders for its new EQC electric SUV, while Toyota and Subaru have also experimented with an online order portal for niche vehicles in the past.

VW Australia’s representatives told CarsGuide it is too early to tell if the scheme will last post-COVID-19 restrictions, but with the functionality established it is “theoretically indefinite”.

UPDATE 19/05/20

Volkswagen is expanding on its “already successful” online sales portal by allowing customers to choose not only to order new vehicles but also directly purchase dealer stock.

The same rules apply when purchasing dealer stock online, which includes placing a $500 deposit and completing the transaction with the relevant dealer making contact within 48 hours.

As well as the ability to buy dealer stock through the online portal, VW promises there is “additional functionality in development to further advance the experience for customers.”

The brand’s online trade-in calculator has also been a success, with VW claiming over 1000 people have used the service, 46 per cent of which were not existing customers.