News - Volkswagen
Volkswagen Transporter 'a growth line'
The VW T6 vans range set to capitalise on their predecessors’ success
18 Dec 2015
VOLKSWAGEN is counting on significant volume growth for its T6 range of vans and people-movers, spurred on by keener pricing, improved products and strong national dealer representation for easier servicing across the country.
With sales of the outgoing T5 Multivan lifting by 22 per cent and the commercial van and cab chassis versions edging up nearly one per cent in 2015 despite their advancing years, Volkswagen Group Australia Commercial Vehicles director, Carlos Santos, said he is hopeful that the momentum can be maintained with the newcomers.
“They’re better priced and higher specced than they have ever been,” he told GoAuto at the launch of the T6 range in Sydney. “I’m confident that we will have a good year with all of the T6 variants next year. It will be one of Volkswagen’s growth product lines.”
The volume-selling Transporter Van TDI340 with the dual-clutch DSG transmission is some $1700 cheaper than its T5 equivalent, even though it gains more features and widespread improvements throughout.
Mr Santos added that the time is right for the latest Transporter van to start reeling in the top-selling Toyota HiAce and Hyundai iLoad, which make up about 43 and 27 per cent of the VFACTS 2.5t-3.5t Van and Cab Chassis market respectively, compared with about eight per cent for old T5 van.
“The Transporter segment is the one that interests me the most – at nearly 20,000 units overall annually, it’s five times the size of the Caddy segment… so that gives us quite a big space for growth.
“The two big ones for us to conquest are the iLoad and HiAce, and I think at the right price – which we’ve got now – and with the product offering that we have, it’s probably our best chance.
“The old T5 has just had its best year ever. It’s now in its eleventh year. It seems to just be getting better with age.”
Volkswagen is also keen to seer the T6 Multivan and Caravelle passenger wagons take on the successful new Kia Carnival and Honda Odyssey, even though together the latter control nearly 60 per cent of the total sub-$60K people-mover market in 2015.
“Multivan is a good one because it just keeps getting stronger and stronger,” Mr Santos revealed. “We’re having a record year with the T5 Multivan this year, and the big difference now is that we have got the passenger vehicle dash, which is much nicer, and that makes for a more luxurious feel.
“We’ve added some new variants too. We can capitalise with the Executive model as the bigger, long-wheelbase luxury version the Caravelle is also better specced than it has ever been.”
Mr Santos said the new six-seater luxury long-wheelbase Multivan Executive will bring incremental sales through its appeal as airport limousines and luxury hotel pick-up vehicles, especially as it has the boot capacity to accommodate luggage for all passengers.
“That is part of the thinking behind Executive,” he said. “We are looking at (that type of buyer group) and see if we can tempt them into either a Multivan Highline or Executive, depending on what type of work they want to do. It’s not massive volume, but it’s still worthwhile volume, and every little bit counts.
Finally, national aftersales and service support is seen as key to building on the T6 predecessors’ growth numbers moving forwards.
“One of our strengths is our dealer network, “ Mr Santos explained. “We have over 100 dealers – and if you were a fleet runner, you’d want more service points that’s one of Toyota’s big strengths, you can get them serviced anywhere in Australia.”
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