Volkswagen expands subscription car program throughout Brazil; see how it works and how much it costs

SAO PAULO – Volkswagen announced this Tuesday (31) that its subscription car program, Sign&Drive, will be expanded to all dealerships in Brazil. Until then, it operated only in São Paulo, since November 2020.

“During the initial phase [em São Paulo] this program proved to be another great option for customers and for our network. It is a subscription service created to meet the contemporary way of consuming cars”, highlights Roger Corassa, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Volkswagen do Brasil.

The German manufacturer’s program, which currently has 10.9% of the country’s market share, is not new. In fact, it is a market that has been very disputed in Brazil. Today, Fiat, Toyota, Nissan, Renault, Movida, Localiza, Unidas, among other market players, already have the service in operation.

Also, according to the Brazilian Association of Car Rental Companies (Abla), this type of rental grew the most during the pandemic, surpassing the mark of 80 thousand vehicles already available in the country, considering all the companies that offer this segment.

O InfoMoney has done some recent reports on the subject and this new model is an extra source of revenue for industry players (learn more here).

In short, the VW Sign&Drive program allows the customer to digitally sign the service on the VW website for a period of 12, 18 or 24 months and enjoy a Taos or a T-Cross, both in the versions Highline and Comfortline.

Today the program has 1,000 contracts closed in São Paulo and as of this week it can already be found in all 470 points of sale of the manufacturer around the country.

Corassa points out that this segment aims to serve a specific target audience mapped by the brand: men and women between 30 and 45 years old, with higher education, who are looking for cars ranging between R$100 thousand and R$220 thousand, whose vehicle objective is be a service for mobility.

“This customer is not worried about purchasing this car, he wants to use it for his convenience on a daily basis”, says the executive. The profile is in line with those of competitors. It is a demand that has been growing in the country. The search for the modality soared in the first months of 2021.

A question that may arise in relation to the new modality is whether, compared to the financing option, it is worth it: o InfoMoney made a comparative story simulating some scenarios, see here. There’s also a summary in an Instagram video.

How VW Sign&Drive works

Volkswagen’s program, detailed on Tuesday, can be signed completely digitally in six steps or even in person at any of the brand’s dealerships.

In the first option, the customer simply enters the Sign&Drive website and 1) select the model, 2) customize the plan, 3) register, 4) upload the documents, 5) confirm the data and, finally, 6) receive the contract by email and digitally sign. After contracting, the vehicle is picked up within 45 calendar days at the store closest to the consumer.

In the physical option, the customer will have the help of the salesperson at the dealership to indicate the models available and register their order on the VW Sign&Drive platform.

As a standard in the modality, the consumer will only bear: fuel, any fines and/or accidents occurred with the car. The subscription includes: documentation (IPVA, licensing and licensing), insurance, preventive maintenance and a deductible of up to 2,500 km to run per month.

The necessary standard maintenance can be performed at any Volkswagen dealership.

The plan options are:

contract periodMileage limitModels available from this Tuesday throughout Brazil (31)Prices (basic plan)
12, 18 or 24 months1,000, 1,800 or 2,500 km per monthT-Cross (Comfortline and Highline versions); Taos (Comfortline and Highline versions);
  • From BRL 2,439 for T‑Cross Comfortline (12 months, 1,000 km/month)
  • From BRL 2,619 for T‑Cross Highlign (12 months, 1,000 km/month)
  • From BRL 3,399 for Taos Comfortline (12 months, 1,000 km/month)
  • From BRL 3,749 for Taos Highline (12 months, 1,000 km/month)

It is worth remembering that the plans vary according to the desired model, subscription term and mileage allowance chosen, as highlighted by Rodrigo Capuruço, national director of Volkswagen.

He also explained that the SUV Nivus would fit into the subscription mode, however, due to the very high demand the manufacturer chose not to make it available in this version, for now.

“We have a waiting list for Nivus of customers who want to buy the car, so we don’t have models available to take to the subscription version. Let’s first serve those customers in the queue and then think about putting them in this portfolio”, said Capuruço.

Volkswagen, during the initial testing phase of the program in São Paulo, even made available some versions of the Jetta sedan, which are no longer available. For now, the manufacturer will offer these four models mentioned.

Missing pieces

Since the beginning of this year, the automotive sector has been facing a serious problem of lack of parts. At first, the production and delivery delay was especially with semiconductors, but after several months, the entire production has been affected.

In its latest disclosure, Anfavea, the entity that represents the automakers, stated that, compromised by the lack of electronic components on the assembly lines, vehicle production – a total of 163.6 thousand units in June – fell by 2% in July.

Compared to July 2020, there was a fall of 4.2% in total production, in the sum of all categories. It was the lowest month of July in vehicle production in 18 years.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, in consecutive months, last month’s production has only been above the volumes manufactured between April and June of last year, when the arrival of covid-19 stopped the entire automotive industry.

Also, earlier this year around ten factories temporarily halted production – including Volkswagen.

O InfoMoney explained the dynamics that have been delaying the production of parts and its effects – increasing the prices of new and used and used cars – in recent reports (see more here).

Experts already say that the normalization of production should only be expected for 2022.

Even in the face of this scenario, Capuruço emphasizes Volkswagen’s commitment to deliver the contract car by signature within 45 days.

“In this initial stage we had no delay. This is because we are offering what we already have in terms of volume scheduled to be made available to the client. We are offering what already exists in the fleet”, he explains. The Executive did not reveal the amount of cars available – but without a normalization of production, the marketing of this segment is limited to the manufacturer’s current stock.

Corassa explained that if the subscription program has a higher demand than expected in the calculations, and it is necessary to bring more vehicles to serve customers, the manufacturer will review this delivery period. “We had a great impact with semiconductors, but we have everything within our calculations and we will revisit the estimates, if necessary”, he says.

He added that today Volkswagen does not produce cars just for Sign&Drive. “It still doesn’t make sense to produce cars only for this segment due to demand,” he said.