Volkswagen AG, the second largest automaker in the world, counts on China for a big chunk of sales and profits and is eager to reclaim lost consumer confidence after a botched recall.
The German carmaker has been heavily criticized by some car owners in China – the world’s largest auto market and the key driver of growth for the powerful company. Now, Soh Weiming, executive vice president of Volkswagen China, said to media representatives on the sidelines of the Guangzhou auto show that VW is hard at work to regain consumer trust and intends to treat them with heightened gratitude.
“Becoming the most trusted brand of Chinese consumers is more important than sales and market share,” said Weiming. “We should lower ourselves and learn to effectively communicate with consumers with a grateful attitude.”
Volkswagen was asked by China’s quality regulator earlier this month to bring all technical documentation linked to a recall of around 600,000 New Sagitar and Beetle vehicles. The carmaker only started two safety campaigns on possible defective rear suspension axles after a regulator investigation was started following the mounting consumer complaints. During the first 10 months of the year, the automaker sold 3.03 million autos in China, growing 14% from the figures accounted during the same period of 2013.