TORONTO – Volkswagen Canada is offering incentives to attract customers and offset lost sales since its parent company admitted last month that it cheated on government emission tests on diesel-engine models.
Until Nov. 2, Volkswagen says it is offering a choice of lower finance rates, lower lease rates and cash incentives on select vehicles.
“The incentives were implemented to support our customers and dealers during the period in which our TDI diesel sales remain suspended pending resolution of the recent EPA Notice (from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency),” VW Canada’s spokesman said in an email.
The TDI diesel engines were available on a variety of Volkswagen models that accounted for nearly 22 per cent of VW Canada’s sales before Sept. 22 when the company told dealers to stop selling the models in question.
“That figure is now lower, as all sales since have been of gasoline powered cars,” Volkswagen Canada said Friday.
As of Oct. 1, VW Canada’s choice of incentives include finance interest rates as low as zero per cent for up to 84 months, depending on the model.
Alternatively, customers can opt for lease rates as low as 0.9 per cent for up to 48 months, depending on the model, or up to $6,000 cash back. On top of those options, VW is offering up to an additional $1,500 in bonus cash.
The company declined to comment on a memo that was sent to its dealers. According to the Globe and Mail, the memo by Volkswagen Canada president Maria Stenstrom said: “The scale of these programs is unprecedented for Volkswagen in Canada, but necessary and appropriate given the circumstances.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency disclosed last month that stealth software made VW’s 2009-2015 model cars powered by 2.0-litre diesel engines run cleaner during emissions tests than in actual driving. The fallout from that revelation has included investigations in other countries, class-action law suits against the company and a drop in VW’s stock price.
Volkswagen Canada announced on Sept. 22 that its dealers had been instructed to suspend the sale and delivery of any new Golf, Golf Sportwagon, Jetta, Beetle or Passat models with 2.0 TDI engines until further notice. The order also applied to certain previously owned models from the 2009 model year or later, if equipped with the same engine.