Adam Chamberlain, head of planning for the entire VW group in Britain, gave an
exclusive interview to Car Dealer at the launch of the vital new model which has just gone on sale.
‘We are delighted with the response to this newcomer,’ he said. ‘It is bigger, better equipped, more fuel efficient, quieter, offers added value and will be offered on finance deals for less than £200 a month.’
There are currently 222 VW dealers in Britain, with no open points – and the marque is planning to shift 50,000 variants of the new Golf by the end of the year.
Chamberlain, pictured above, expects that figure to rise in 2010 as more models join the fray, but much will depend on economic conditions.
‘The Golf is iconic and has always done well when the market is flat,’ he said.
‘This shows its endearing appeal and, indeed, in the last two years we have enjoyed record penetration with a 13.5 per cent segment share.’
Last year the Mark 5 Golf achieved 62,800 registrations. In 2007 the figure was as high as 67,000 cars.
Chamberlain believes a maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating plus seven airbags will ‘greatly help the cause’ as will a knee airbag fitted on a Volkswagen for the first time as standard.
‘The feedback we have had from dealers has been so positive,’ said Chamberlain. ‘The seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox has proved particularly popular as has the economy which can be as high as 47.1mpg on the combined cycle.’
Chamberlain, who is 35, has been with VW for 13 years and has worked for SEAT and Audi. He lives in Oxford and is married with two children.
Meanwhile, CAP has added to the good news for the new Mark 6 model. Martin Ward, price assessor, told Car Dealer that the 1.4-litre TSI three-door should achieve a 41 per cent down-the-line value after three years and 60,000 miles with the 2-litre TDI SE as high as 45 per cent over the same period.
by Richard Gibbon