Volkswagen to launch satellite dealers in Canada!

Volkswagen to launch satellite dealers in Canada!

17 June 2022 BY Jean-Sébastien Poudrier
Volkswagen dealers

Car shopping is far from the time when a dealer could change the price with a marker on the lot, and everything was calculated by hand on paper. In fact, the concept of a car dealership has slightly changed over the year, and even if some brands decided to stick with this concept, others developed new ways for customers to shop and purchase their new vehicles. We can refer to brands such as Tesla, which makes most of its sales online. 


Others like Polestar and Genesis opted for a more boutique-oriented experience where you don't have a salesman to sell you a car. Instead, there are sales representatives to guide you toward your choice, and they will help you to order your car online. The big difference between the two is there's no negotiation with the boutique-style dealership, and everything is based on the customer experience. So, no pressure. Even as a car journalist, dealing with a new vehicle is something, I hate a lot. I'd rather pay a little more not to have to go thru this process and to get a better general experience.


Coming back to Volkswagen here, the German manufacturer is looking to expand its numbers of dealerships in Canada. Currently, there are only 145 VW dealers in the country, which is less than most of its competitors like Toyota, with 287 dealers. So, some people at Volkswagen came up with the idea of opening smaller satellite dealers at some critical points in Canada.


A Satellite


Your first question is probably; what a satellite dealer is and how it is different from a regular Volkswagen dealership. For the most part, these "smaller" dealers will function as a standard size dealerships. They're going to be around 30 % smaller than a regular Volkswagen dealer, and their goal will be to focus on sales and fewer significant repairs. A usual Volkswagen dealership is about 11 000 square feet, whereas the satellite version is approximately 7 500 square feet.


Of course, a lot of these new smaller dealers will focus on electric vehicles since they require less maintenance and to give them opportunities for smaller communities to have access to Volkswagen's future EV lineup.


Volkswagen is planning on opening around 25 of these satellite dealers all across Canada at first. The concept is already implanted in other markets such as Europe. The idea has been a huge success over there.


For now, we don't have much more information yet, but Volkswagen should clarify some points as most of these dealers should be opened before 2025. Volkswagen is one of the largest car manufacturers in the world. So, with only 145 dealers in Canada, the least we can say is that the German manufacturer is far from being well represented in Canada. Those 25 new satellite dealers should help the brand reinforce its position in Canada. In 2021, Volkswagen had a 5.2 percent market share in Canada which is very good considering the number of dealers currently in place in the country. However, those new satellite dealers should help the German manufacturer to reach a better market share as more than 19 percent of Canadians live at more than a one-hour drive from the closest Volkswagen dealership.  


Jean-Sébastien Poudrier

Tags: Genesis, Polestar, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen

Author: Jean-Sébastien Poudrier