Dealerships

Volkswagen has just made it possible to buy a car without setting foot in a dealership

Volkswagen is now offering all-digital vehicle purchases.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

If you never want to set foot in a dealership to buy a new Volkswagen, you never have to. Today, Volkswagen of America and VW Credit, Inc.announced that VW dealerships will be able to collect remote digital signatures for financial transactions.

According to a release, Sign Anywhere is remote, digital signature tool powered by CDK Global that allows customers to remotely and securely digitally sign financial documents with their own computer or mobile device. This will allow customers to take all their business online.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Volkswagen and its dealerships will deliver a vehicle to its new owner without them having to set foot in a dealer's storefront. Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Though digital signature technology has been widespread for years, this is one of the first instances where it has met the requirements of the financial services sector to make dealership visits not required.

"Planning to implement this technology began two years ago but since this pandemic took hold, we've accelerated our plan to make this a permanent tool for our dealers," said Anthony Bandmann, President and CEO of VW Credit, Inc. "Customers are asking for flexibility and looking for peace of mind especially during this time and Sign Anywhere helps provide that."

The particulars of the services allow for the execution of contracts to take place from the comfort of a personal device such as a tablet without physical interaction with a finance representative. The tool also uses two-factor authentication to transmit information and dealers can receive funding in hours following a vehicle purchase.

Its use will be limited to local laws. The digital signature tool will only be available where remote transactions comply with motor vehicle dealer laws and where dealerships participate with CDK Sign Anywhere. Dealers are responsible for knowing whether such transactions are legal in their state.

Sign Anywhere was initially made available to ten Volkswagen dealers as part of a pilot program in April 2020. The program has now expanded to approximately 420 Volkswagen dealerships across the country.

Over 1,900 vehicle purchases or leases have already been finalized using Sign Anywhere since the implementation of this tool.

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Discontinued sedan

Volkswagen nixing Passat after 2022 model year

Racing Green Metallic is one of four exclusive colors for the car.

Volkswagen

After five decades on sale in the U.S., Volkswagen is pulling the plug on the midsize Passat. The explosion of SUVs' popularity and the need to shift production power to electric vehicles are behind the decision, which will take place after the 2022 model year. The cars have been built at the automaker's Chattanooga, TN plant since 2011, but the facility is being repurposed as VW's North American hub for electric vehicle assembly.

Volkswagen is giving the car one last hurrah, however, in the form of the Passat Limited Edition. The car features 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with an Advanced Front Lighting System, and an easy-open trunk. Inside, the cars come with sport seats wrapped in Vienna leather, memory seating, a Fender Premium Audio System, parking assistance, and parking sensors.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition Each car gets a special model tag with its limited production number.Volkswagen


Only 1,973 of the cars will be built, and it will only be sold in four colors, each with its own limited production numbers that have special meaning for the Passat:

  • Aurora Red Metallic with Titan Black interior: 411 units to represent the original vehicle production code
  • Racing Green Metallic with Mauro Brown interior: 423 units to commemorate the Chattanooga 423 area code
  • Pure white with Mauro Brown interior: 524 units to signify the Chattanooga plant's May 24 opening date
  • Platinum Great Metallic with Titan Black interior: 615 units to signify six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales

Pricing for the 2022 Passat starts at $31,290, which includes a $995 destination fee. Adding Aurora Red Metallic drives the price up by an additional $395. Each car will receive a special number plate to designate its place in the limited production run.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition The Passat Limited Edition gets several upscale features. Volkswagen

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Electric vehicle features

The VW ID.4 sounds futuristic

The ID.4 is VW's first electric crossover in the U.S.

VW

The Volkswagen ID.4 is finally here. The electric crossover offers compelling features, decent all-electric range, and a reasonable price. On top of all that, Volkswagen focused heavily on the electric experience with the ID.4, down to the sounds it makes in everyday operation.

Where many automakers seek to humanize electric vehicles with familiar gas engine sounds, Volkswagen hasn't bothered with any of that. Instead, the automaker's ID.4 electric crossover features several sounds that embrace the EV's place in the future of transportation.

On startup, drivers are greeted with a sound that Volkswagen says will alert them that the vehicle is ready to go. It's not at all unlike the flying saucer sounds heard in sci-fi movies decades ago, but it's a nice reminder of the ID.4's future-forward drivetrain.



In motion, VW gave the ID.4 what is known as an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, which helps alert people to the presence of a moving electric vehicle. Since the drivetrain doesn't make the same noises that a gas engine does, EVs can move almost silently at low speeds, so it's important to have some kind of warning sound.

Even the turn signal sounds received scrutiny in the ID.4's design, and while they're still fairly traditional, the sounds are subtle and pleasing overall. Beyond that, VW says it developed a library of sounds for typical vehicle control buttons and other functions that are exclusive to its electric vehicles. The goal, according to the automaker, is that the sound aligns with the vehicles' character, visual design, and features, and that people will be able to recognize a VW EV by its unique sound.

The ID.4 is just the first of several EVs that Volkswagen plans to release here in the United States. Larger family vehicles are on the horizon, and we may even see an electric revival of the legendary VW bus.

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