VW connects with RAC to offer telematics
Volkswagen is linking with the RAC to offer a telematics package across its commercial vehicle range. The new VW Telematics offering will give van users the opportunity to monitor the location, operation and performance of their vans.
The new service, launched in February, is a white label product which plugs into the vehicle diagnostics and gathers data on a variety of fleet management metrics:
“The plug in nature of the product means van operators can use this across multiple van models and makes,” explained Kevin Rendell, head of service and parts at VW Commercial Vehicles. “We are now able to offer vehicle tracking, driver behaviour, geo-fencing, vehicle diagnostics and fuel efficiency to name but a few, as well as offering in-depth reporting.”
The service costs £12.50 per month per vehicle and providing the vehicle has the OBD2 level of on-board diagnostics – typically vehicles up to three years old – then VW Telematics can be retrofitted, explained Rendell. “It’s a 36-month contract, but the plug-in/plug-out nature of the device means the contract is transferable.”
Rendell was speaking at VW’s recent market performance event where the company updated the press on its 2014 performance and highlighted the key points for the year ahead.
With the launch of the new Caddy and Transporter it looks like being a big year for VW coming off the back of a strong performance in 2014: “The total sales for VW Commercial Vehicles was 444,900, up 2% on 2013,” said Carl zu Dohna, director of VW Commercial Vehicles in the UK. “The UK sales represent just over 10% of that, making it the biggest export market for the company, 11.8% up on 2013.
“In terms of commercial vehicle registrations (40,624 units registered) it was a record year for us, commanding a 12.4% market share,” zu Dohna explained. “Our overall market share was down a little on the previous year, but that was down to availability of product holding us back. If the factory had supplied more, we could have sold them.”
VW also announced it had extended its Engineered to Go range of bodied vehicles to include a Luton box body, built by Ingimex – as is the rest of the range. Currently VW sells approximately 10% of its Crafter line-up in bodied/chassis cab format. “That’s below the industry average,” explained zu Dohna, “we believe there is opportunity for growth there.”