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Volkswagen Dealers Upset Amid Turmoil With the Brand

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author photo by Doug DeMuro March 2016

First, Volkswagen admitted that it had been cheating on U.S. government emissions tests for several years. Then, it was forced to stop selling all diesel-powered models until its engineers could work out a fix. Recently, its U.S. chief executive stepped down. And now, the brand's dealership body is up in arms.

Angry at a deceitful parent company and dismayed at spending millions on recent showroom renovations only to find a large portion of their brand's lineup completely unavailable to sell, VW dealers are mad, and they're starting to show their frustrations.

"It's very dysfunctional," said a Volkswagen salesperson who wouldn't let us print his name. "Business is way down, and we're not sure when it will get better."

Those comments echo similar remarks made by Alan Brown, head of Volkswagen's national U.S. dealer council, in USA Today. Brown noted that "the dealer network is becoming very, very, very frustrated very quickly." And given that diesel-powered vehicles, which made up to 20 to 30 percent of Volkswagen sales, are no longer available after the automaker's well publicized emissions scandal -- it's hard to blame them.

So what does this mean for shoppers? With dealers desperate for business and angry with their parent company, we suspect now is a better time than ever to buy a Volkswagen if you're interested in a good deal. Dealerships are likely to dole out strong deals and good discounts just to move inventory in an effort to keep sales somewhere near their level before the brand's emissions scandal. But just remember: No matter how much you want one, Volkswagen dealers still aren't allowed to sell you any new vehicle -- and many used vehicles -- with a turbodiesel engine.

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Used 2016 Volkswagen Jetta SE Sedan
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Volkswagen Dealers Upset Amid Turmoil With the Brand - Autotrader