VOLKSWAGEN Financial Services has developed and marketed a new short-term PCP package at “lightning quick speed” in a bid to get around vehicle supply delays caused by the global semiconductor shortage.
It allows customers to continue to rely on their current vehicles while waiting for the arrival of their newly purchased car by financing the optional final payment on their current model for 12 months.
Mike Todd, Chief Executive at VWFS, said: “This commitment is just part of an ongoing and evolutionary process to further enhance the customer experience as they interact with and return to Volkswagen Financial Services UK for their vehicle financing needs.
“This includes a significant digitalisation programme which is making the selection of the right kind of finance agreement easier than ever, as well as whole host of digital tools that support customers as they assess what is best for them and choose the most appropriate finance package.
“Over the past 18 months we’ve enhanced our online self-serve capability, giving our customers access to services that support them with managing their finance at a convenient time for them; for example, amending all personal and financial details, requesting documentation and the ability to make payments online.
“As all businesses have had to plan and implement new processes to react to unprecedented times, we too have continued in our commitment to evolve our support for customers, brands and retailers with fresh thinking, product innovation and an understanding of the challenges and issues each are facing.”
Like many other sectors, large swathes of the automotive industry had to scale back or even stop production in the early stages of Covid-19, with a gradual reopening as restrictions eased during 2020.
Now, the worldwide shortage of semiconductors, used in the manufacture of electronic devices, is currently placing great strain on the industry. As employers asked staff across the globe to work from home, the demand for mobile devices such as laptops and phones that kept workspaces and employees connected has escalated exponentially. This has led to critical components such as semiconductors being used primarily to facilitate production of the digital devices the public needs.
The result is that sectors such as the automotive industry, which are heavily reliant upon semiconductor components as part of the manufacturing process, are struggling to source the volumes to ensure that car production can keep up with consumer demand for new vehicles.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) believes that because of the semiconductor shortfall, there will be a 100,000-vehicle reduction in UK car production for this year. The reality can be seen in the latest production statistics. Recently released figures show that the UK‘s car industry output declined for the second month in a row in August, falling 27% year on year.
And it is not just a UK issue. According to analysts, IHS Markit, global car production is set to fall by over 700,000 in 2021 because of issues in the supply chain.