We recently received a note from an anonymous source indicating that there's a mildly strained relationship between VW and some of its dealers. The source of the consternation seems to be the highly anticipated Jetta TDI, which was just recently released in the U.S. market. Apparently, Volkswagen of America has gotten complaints that some dealers are adding a significant markup on the new and desirable model -- a big problem for many automakers when a new model makes its initial introduction. The dealers are eager to make some money on the new cars while VW is concerned that customers may just look elsewhere because they feel they're being treated unfairly. What's more, some VW dealers may not be all that excited by the new model as there aren't that many available quite yet.
This is a situation that's frustrating for the dealers, VW and, most importantly, prospective customers. Volkswagen promises that the situation will improve, and we hope it does. If the clean diesel engine is truly capable of returning the kind of fuel mileage that VW says it can, the Jetta TDI sedan and Sportwagen may indeed offer an ideal alternative to gasoline-sipping hybrids, that is, if customers can put up with the buying process.