Marketing Mix of Volkswagen (4Ps of Volkswagen)
This is a detailed evaluation of the marketing mix of Volkswagen (4Ps of Volkswagen). Its primary aim is to examine the strengths of the auto maker’s marketing mix decisions and explore ideas to make them better in the future. Volkswagen, headquartered at Wolfsburg in Germany, is one of the largest manufacturers of vehicles in the world.
Product strategies of Volkswagen
Volkswagen has a wide range of vehicles including luxury cars, motorcycles, trucks, family vehicles, buses, and SUVs. It produces 12 brands i.e. Volkswagen, Volkswagen Commercial, Bentley, Ducati, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Scania, Porsche, Man, Audi, Seat and Skoda (Volkswagen, 2021).
Volkswagen provides financial services which offer tailor-made products and services to many of its customers around the world. It also has an independent automotive software company. It builds cars that drive as efficiently and eco-friendly as possible.
Volkswagen is one of the most popular car brands in the UK and many other countries (Statista, 2021). Its electric cars are getting popular, and to take the idea of the electric vehicle further, Scania is conducting research in partnership with Siemens to power its trucks and buses by supplying the necessary electricity via lines above the road. However, it should be mentioned that Volkswagen had to recall a massive number of vehicles due to safety concerns in the past.
Pricing strategies of Volkswagen
Price plays a key role in the marketing mix of Volkswagen (4Ps of Volkswagen). The company prices its products competitively and after taking into consideration the geography that the company is targeting, and the features that are offered in a particular vehicle. Since it has vehicles that are suitable for families, pricing for those cars is done with an aim to attracting middle income customers. Luxury vehicle brands such as Lamborghini and Bentley are charged at premium prices.
Place/Distribution channels of Volkswagen
Volkswagen cars are available in most countries across the globe. The company has 118 production plants across the world including Germany, United States, India, China, and South Africa.
Volkswagen vehicles are available at company owned dealerships and showrooms in many countries. According to an analysis by business consultancy AlixPartners, Volkswagen sold more electric cars across the world than Tesla at the end of 2020 for the first time. However, it should be mentioned that a communication gap was evident between Volkswagen and some of its suppliers with the former blaming the latter for the bad planning that has compounded a computer chip shortage blighting the global auto industry (Schwartz and Steitz, 2021).
Promotion strategies of Volkswagen
Volkswagen appoints ambassadors to promote its vehicles. Notable ambassadors are the US footballer Alex Morgan and racing driver Tanner Foust. Indian Bollywood actor Neil Nitin Mukesh was the face of its ‘Think Blue Initiative’.
Volkswagen promotes its products on print media and social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. It also advertises promotional deals on its corporate website.
Volkswagen also promotes the brands through sponsorships and media events to create awareness among consumers. It sponsors several football teams in different countries. However, Abdul (2020) reports that the company’s poor advertising choices are evident from its withdrawal of an online ad that attracted criticism for its racist images.
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Last update: 21 September 2021
Abdul, G. (2020) ‘Horrified’ and ‘Ashamed’: Volkswagen apologizes for Ad, available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/21/business/volkswagen-ad.html (accessed 23 September 2021)
Schwartz, J. and Steitz, C. (2021) Volkswagen points finger at suppliers over car chip shortage, available at: https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-volkswagen-chips-idUSKBN2AF1KS (accessed 23 September 2021)
Statista (2021) Volkswagen car market share in the United Kingdom 2016-2020, available at:https://www.statista.com/statistics/300436/volkswagen-car-market-share-in-the-united-kingdom/ (accessed 24 September 2021)
Volkswagen (2021) Group, available at: https://www.volkswagenag.com/en/group.html (accessed 24 September 2021)
Author: Fahim Shah
Fahim Shah has been working in the UK as a visiting lecturer in Business and Tourism for the last 10 years. After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Marketing, he went on to gain an MBA from the University of Bradford, the UK. He is a Fellow of Advance HE (FHEA) and a full member of the Association of Business Executives (ABE).