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 AtlasVolkswagen 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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VW purchased the rights to the iconic Scout name and plans to make new EVs under the brand.

Volkswagen

Automakers bring back names and brands from the past all the time, but it's not every day that a major company purchases a brand name specifically for the purpose of reviving it. That's exactly what Volkswagen just did with Scout, the name of an ultra-popular off-road SUV that was built by International Harvester in the 1960s and 1970s.

As for the types of vehicles we'll see from the brand, we currently only have the renders to go on. The pickup truck and SUV both feature throwback styling that is reminiscent of the original Scout shapes. Beefy off-road tires and lifted suspension are the only other clues available in the drawings.

Volkswagen has its own EVs, and its other brands like Audi and Porsche have made significant progress with electric vehicles as well. That said, VW doesn't really have a solid off-road option from any of its brands at the moment, so the Scout purchase opens doors for the automaker in that arena.

The announcement sounds exciting, but we've still got plenty of time to wait before there's a Scout-branded EV on the roads. Volkswagen said the plan is to release vehicles by 2026, but it won't be sitting idle between now and then. The VW ID.4 is still very fresh and the automaker says it will launch a total of 25 new EVs in the U.S. by 2030.

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The 2023 Sportage Hybrid starts at around $28,000.

Kia

Kia's moving full steam ahead to an all-electric future, but the automaker's intermediate models should not be overlooked. Kia and Hyundai do hybrids as well as anyone, and the 2023 Sportage Hybrid is coming soon with new tech, updated styling, and a value-forward price. The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid goes on sale in spring.

2023 Kia Sportage HybridThe Sportage Hybrid delivers up to 39 mpg.Kia

Kia offers the Sportage hybrid in three trims: The $28,505 LX, $32,205 EX, and $37,405 SX-Prestige. All models come with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine and a 44kW electric motor that combine to produce 226 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission with a rotary shifter is standard, and all-wheel drive become standard at the EX trim. The powertrain is efficient for an SUV, delivering up to 39 mpg when paired with front-wheel drive.

Kia says the Sportage Hybrid's interior features a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster for almost 25 inches of display. Standard tech is generous, and includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There's also plenty of safety tech. Kia adds standard gear that includes:

  • Driver attention warning system
  • LED headlights
  • Lane following assist and lane keep assist
  • Forward collision warnings with cyclist detection
  • Rear occupant alerts
  • Rearview monitor
  • Reverse parking distance warnings
Several optional features are available, including blind spot warnings, forward parking distance warnings, navigation-based cruise control, and more.

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