Volkswagen Australia has no present plan to extend its standard factory warranty beyond three years — yet — largely because it doesn’t see itself losing sales to other middle market brands with longer terms of coverage.
With its subsidiary brand Skoda (a little-known conquest company that needs to make noise) offering a five-year term like other brands including Hyundai and Honda – and Kia hitting the market with seven years of coverage – it’s an obvious question to ask.
But VGA managing director, Michael Bartsch, told us extending its coverage was not seen as a priority, giving it was exploring other ways to improve its average customer satisfaction scores, such as investing even more in technician training.
“I think the entire industry is looking at it, but it’s one of those things where there’s nothing for nothing, and when you look at who's broken away, where it’s been pushed, they have their own reasons for doing it,” he stated.
“I think we now, like Subaru or Toyota or anyone else, are comfortable with where we are. The reality is even if someone has a problem in year four or five, we look after them anyway,” he claimed.
Have you owned a Volkswagen and had an issue in year four or five? Let us know what experience your dealer gave you in the comments if so, and we’ll make sure VW Australia sees it.
“But there’s a point we see it moving that way, at this stage it’s not on our agenda, we’ll monitor it closely but again we aren't seeing any impact as a consequence,” Bartsch said.
“I think what you see and who's offering it, it becomes a war at certain price points, but where we sit it’s not the battleground.
“With Hyundai and Kia etc. you need something to make a fast and rather loud statement, and those games are short-lived, it’s sort of like a drug, you know. Do they really need a seven-year warranty? Probably not.”
Bartsch has long stated that Volkswagen should position itself as a “premium for the people” brand, aimed at appealing to the aspirational middle-class, rather than selling on price alone. Starting the Golf 110TSI at $24k drive-away is an example of this.
“Volkswagen is a premium brand, our technology is far more advanced than most brands in the middle class segment, and if we want to capture that premium when someone sees a VW, they must know the brand stands for exactly X,” he said.
We'd add that Volkswagen Australia does offer the option of extending your warranty to five years/unlimited kilometres for an extra fee.