Volkswagen Group South Africa has launched a Trade Parts Programme that is aimed at encouraging reputable and professional trade customers to buy genuine parts through Volkswagen dealerships. The programme is an extension of the Volkswagen global trade strategy which has been in place in Europe for over two decades.
“The programme is a formalisation of our current trade offering to make the trading of parts much easier for all our trade partners from major motor body repair centres, workshops, franchises, independent workshops to DIY customers,” said Richard Longe, General Manager Group Parts at Volkswagen Group South Africa.
The programme, which was recently launched nationally in major cities, has established standards and product offerings that Volkswagen and Audi dealerships can provide to trade partners to ensure that they receive the best service.
“Through the programme, we will be able to offer technical support and expertise to our trade customers. We will have dedicated technical specialists at most of our dealerships to advise and assist with issues such as diagnosis and parts interpretation,” added Longe.
One of the key focus areas of the programme is the improvement of the core process of the parts trade – the service delivery to customers. There will be dedicated daily deliveries to ensure that customers do not wait for their parts.
Volkswagen Group is planning to introduce an online parts buying platform for its trade partners, called partslink24. The online platform will promote transparency and provide customers with instant access to the ordering of Volkswagen and Audi parts.
The main beneficiaries of the programme are owners of vehicles that are older than five years or out of warranty. Some of these owners are likely to take their vehicles to independent workshops, who are Volkswagen’s trade partners. Volkswagen Group South Africa plans to sell genuine parts to the vehicle owners of Volkswagen, Audi and Commercial Vehicles in South Africa that are currently estimated at over 1 million.
“We encourage our trade partners to explain to customers the benefits of using genuine parts, which are sometimes misconceived as being expensive. The long term benefits of a genuine part is realised through its durability as it is manufactured in accordance with stringent Volkswagen standards and detailed technical requirements,” explained Longe.