In a time when most vehicle manufacturers have begun shying away from leasing, Volkswagen is announcing the return of a stimulus package from earlier this year to promote the attractiveness of leasing a new Volkswagen.
The popular "Sign-THEN-Drive" sales promotion has returned -- and as part of the incentive package, Volkswagen will waive the security deposit and make the first monthly payment for the customer on 13 of Volkswagen's most popular 2009-model-year vehicles including the Rabbit, Jetta 2.5L, Jetta SportWagen 2.5L, GTI, New Beetle, New Beetle convertible, Eos, Passat, Passat Wagon, Tiguan, Touareg, Routan, and the 2008 R32.
Did you enjoy the funny "Sign THEN Drive" commercials as much as we did? Here are a couple of my favorites from earlier this year:
"Why it's called 'Sign THEN Drive' "
"You don't need a chainsaw, just a pen to 'Sign THEN drive' "
We've brought back the successful Sign-THEN-Drive lease event to provide customers with an attractive lease option," said Mark Barnes, chief operating officer, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "In these tough economic times, it's important for Volkswagen to take action to insure that we continue to maintain and grow our market share, take care of our dealers, and provide great vehicles to our customers."
Well, he's got an excellent point there: Considering that the conversations I overheard in line at Peet's coffee this morning centered around the losses that people were experiencing in their retirement and stock accounts, everybody's looking for a way to save their pennies. Car-buying is not on the top of many lists.
Additionally, Volkswagen is offering a $500 loyalty benefit to owners of model-year 1999-or-newer Volkswagens who purchase or lease one of the following models: New Beetle, New Beetle convertible, Eos, GTI, Passat Sedan, Passat Wagon, Touareg, Tiguan, Routan, and the 2008 R32.
"We've brought several great new models to the market this year, including the Routan, CC, Tiguan, and the Jetta TDI and SportWagen," said Barnes. "This expansion in our model line-up combined with our quality and strong design and engineering has helped VW to maintain a stable position in the automotive market."
Volkswagen will also be reaching out directly to customers to promote their new Touareg, CC, and Routan minivan. Conquest customers -- those shoppers who do not already own a Volkswagen vehicle -- who purchase the Routan will receive an additional sales incentive.
Finally, as an additional customer incentive, all 2009-model-year Volkswagens are included in the no-charge Carefree Maintenance Program. Under this program, scheduled maintenance (as described in its maintenance booklet), is covered for the length of the New Vehicle Warranty--three years or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first. That alone could add up a thousand dollars or more.
I would expect we'll begin seeing many other incentive programs as other manufacturers encourage cautious buyers to take the step towards their brands. Earlier today, I caught the tail end of a Ford commercial promising a Zero-percent financing incentive, but need to get additional information on that program. Have you heard of any others to share?
Who's in the market for a car purchase right now? Are you considering a new or used car, and do you have your heart set on any specific brand? Please share your story here.