VW offers $2,000 to keep owners loyal

Volkswagen stands to lose a large portion of its customer base in the aftermath of the diesel emissions scandal, but the German automaker isn't about to sit back and watch its customers defect to other brands. To that end, VW is offering significant incentives to keep its buyers coming back.

This latest incentive program will award a $2,000 loyalty bonus to existing VW drivers in the United States, to be applied to towards the purchase or lease of a new gasoline- or hybrid-powered vehicle. What's more, the offer can be combined with any other incentive on offer (save for employee or fleet discounts). The automaker is offering discounts of between $2,000 for a Passat to as much as $4,000 for a Touareg, CC, or Eos.

The incentives are aimed to stave off a potential dip in sales as public trust of the company plummets in the wake of the diesel scandal. Despite the admission that it had manipulated emissions testing, Volkswagen's sales in the US actually increased in September. But they could stand to drop significantly over the course of October. The discounts may soften that blow some, but the manufacturer is not likely to be able to keep up those incentives in the long run.

The move follows a similar initiative undertaken by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Europe. There the Italian-American automaker is offering owners of Volkswagen Group vehicles – diesel or otherwise – significant discounts of up to $1,700 to trade into an FCA vehicle.

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