vw new u.s. site

VW’s new US Web site providers potential buyers with increased functionality

Volkswagen brand is embarking on a worldwide digital sales and marketing offensive. The plan acknowledges the growing importance of the internet in car sales.

The new offering will start in the US and will then be rolled out globally.

"The United States is the global leader when it comes to the Internet. That's why we're consciously beginning our Digital Business Strategy in this market," said Luca de Meo, head of group marketing at Volkswagen.

The central part of the new strategy is an interactive car configurator, which will present a model in 3-D and HD quality. In addition, VW’s configurator will include a “social shopping” function, which will automatically provide the most popular features other customers have chosen with a particular configuration. Studies have shown that such recommendations play a big role in purchasing decisions.

VW will make test drives easier too. The configurator will ask a user for his location and will then provide an overview of dealers in the area. It will use Google Maps technology for this function.

Other new features include a comparison tool, which lets shoppers compare VW models with competitor cars; blogs, which aim to bring consumers closer to the brand; and a digital customer service center called “Volkswagen World.” VW owners can get additional information about their cars, such as manuals for navigation systems, cruise control technology and other functions.

VW said future phases of the Owners Portal would let customers personalize their site and allow them to “manage their car-related life with everything from booking service, to making a car payment, to buying accessories.”