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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The all-electric ID.4 will help its pilot and navigator tackle the grueling race route.

Volkswagen

Off-road racing and endurance races are nothing new, but the Rebelle Rally's approach is unique. The event is the first all-women event of its kind in the U.S. and takes participants through severely challenging terrain with no electronic aids allowed for navigation. This year, Volkswagen is bringing its new ID.4 EV to the event to be piloted by driver Mercedes Lilienthal and navigator Emily Winslow.

Volkswagen ID.4 Mercedes Lilienthal and Emily Winslow will pilot the ID.4.Volkswagen

Tanner Foust Racing and Rhys Millen Racing modified the VW with new suspension system, tubular control arms, fabricated skid plates, battery protection, and other off-road-ready kit. The crossover has also been fited with a Thule roof rack and Yokohama Geolandar A/T tires.

The ID.4's battery and electric motor will remain untouched. That means a combined output of 295 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. The 82 kWh battery can deliver an EPA-estimated range of 249 miles on a charge, but keep in mind that the terrain the team will be tackling will have an impact on that number.

The 2021 event marks the sixth year for the all-women rally raid. Teams are faced with 1,400 miles of desert in Nevada and California, and must navigate the racecourse without the use of electronic guides, such as GPS or cell phones. From the start in Las Vegas to the finish in Glamis, CA, participants must use maps, compasses, and their own skill to navigate.

Volkswagen ID.4 Several modifications were made to the suspension and other components.Volkswagen

Even though it's the ID.4's maiden year on the market, the electric crossover has already had a successful run in motorsport. Earlier this year, another modified version of the vehicle competed in the NORRA Mexican 1000. It was also massaged by Tanner Foust Racing and Rhys Millen Racing, and VW notes that the ID.4 that we'll see in Rebelle Rally vehicle was improved using data from its first races.

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Interesting backstory

Volkswagen Bus part inspired popular dog toy

The classic VW Bus inspired one of the most popular dog toys of all time.

Volkswagen

Product designs sometimes take inspiration from the places we expect the least. Moments of genius are driven by finding solutions to unique problems, and as it turns out, that's exactly how we ended up with KONG. The beefy, durable dog chew toy is modeled after a Volkswagen Bus part.

Joe Markham's shop Markham needed a dog for security, but he unexpectedly got a chew-crazy pet.Volkswagen

KONG's inventor, Joe Markham, adopted a German Shepherd to help with security at his auto repair shop in downtown Denver, CO. The dog, while a great addition to the shop, came with a few bad habits. The dog's most worrisome hobby was chewing, which he would do with almost anything he could find, especially rocks. As you might imagine, chewing on rocks is not good for the dog's teeth. Markham needed a durable chew toy, but nothing seemed to work, from animal bones to radiator hoses.

The solution came from an unlikely place: While working on a 1960sVW Type 2 Bus, Markham discovered that the rubber axle stop made a perfect chew toy. The dog had gotten ahold of the rubber stop, and while he was chewing viciously, neither the stop nor his teeth were damaged.

The discovery led Markham to spend the next six years experimenting with various rubbers, sizes, and shapes for his dog toy. After working with rubber experts in Germany, the design was finalized and the KONG was born. The shape for the toy ended up being very close to that of the axle stop. The funky, bulbous design meant that the toy wouldn't bounce like a ball, and would instead flop around randomly, which is similar to the way that small animals run away from predators.

VW Bus axle stop The axle stop from a VW Bus inspired KONG's shape.Volkswagen

It's worth noting that you should not intentionally let your dog chew on any part of your vehicle. Even unused automotive parts can contain chemicals and other harmful materials that could make your dog sick or worse. This isn't a pitch to buy a KONG, just a warning about the hazards of car parts being used as dog toys.

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