Volkswagen’s Warranty Power to the People
When you buy a new car or truck, chances are you do so for some reason that has to do with need—your previous vehicle is on its proverbial last legs or you have started a family and somehow that Miata just won’t cut it any more or some other external factor—or desire—you see that new model and know that you just HAVE TO have it because you just do.
There are several other factors related to a new car purchase, such as monthly payments, insurance costs and resale value.
Chances are, these factors play less of a role than those previously mentioned.
One of the things that I wonder about is how much of a factor that a warranty plays—and I don’t mean plays when the salesperson tries to sell you an extended warranty.
After all: When you are buying a new vehicle, do you imagine that it is going to break?
The folks at Volkswagen of America think that a long warranty may be just the thing to help turbocharge its sales in the U.S. It is offering for “most new Volkswagen vehicles in the United States” what it is calling the “People First Warranty,” which is a six-year or 72,000-mile (whichever comes first) transferable warranty that includes coverage for engines, transmissions and its optional all-wheel drive systems.
Hinrich J. Woebcken, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America: “Volkswagen as always been ‘the people’s car,’ and with the People First Warranty, we’re putting our customers first.”
There is a lot of potential irony to unpack in that, but we’ll let it go.
One of the points that VW made in announcing this warranty program is that “Most mainstream competitors to the Volkswagen brand in the United States such as Honda, Toyota and Ford offer only a three-year/36,000 mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty on their cars and SUVs.”
Chances are, most mainstream customers of Toyotas, Hondas and possibly Fords have absolutely no idea of what their warranty coverage is because they tend to buy those products because taking them to the dealer for a repair—or recall—is the last thing they think about.