By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By BLOOMBERG
VOLKSWAGEN Passenger Cars Malaysia Sdn Bhd (VPCM) has rolled out its new brand design and logo in Malaysia amid the Covid-19 pandemic as part of its global campaign that premiered last year.
The new design and logo emphasise on the digital application and human elements of the German brand, according to VPCM, the official distributor of Volkswagen (VW) cars in Malaysia.
The initiative is in line with the brand’s global rebranding campaign — one of the world’s largest, involving over 171 markets and 10,000 dealerships, which made its debut at the 2019 International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany.
The new VW logo is more modern, simpler, two-dimensional (2D) and more digitally adaptable. It also has, for the first time in the company’s history, a sound logo represented by a female voice.
Along with the refreshed image, the company has adopted a more people-first approach, its MD Erik Winter said.
“We have always been digital-first here in Malaysia, having pioneered numerous initiatives from selling our cars on e-commerce sites to launching our digital showroom.
“In such challenging times, we recognise the need to be even more customer-centric, and to be able to move to the new brand design completes this transformation for us,” Winter said in a virtual media briefing recently.
Following the local introduction of the new design and logo, VPCM will be revamping 21 dealerships internally and externally in stages by year-end, although the business outlook for the rest of the year remains challenging.
“It is a very difficult year,” Winter said, “but we will build confidence and set for recovery.”
He said the German carmaker has seen a level of recovery in China and anticipates the same for the Malaysian market.
In the early days of the Movement Control Order (MCO), VPCM launched an online showroom to allow Malaysians to book cars online, making it the first industry player to introduce such a platform in the domestic market.
Consumer response to the virtual showroom has been good and steady, Winter said.
The company will be launching the new Passat R-Line soon, followed by the new Arteon R-Line by this year.
Under the Conditional MCO, Malaysia has begun a partial reopening of certain sectors to spur economic growth. This includes the automotive sector, which is now seeing the resumption of production, sales and after-sales activities.
Dealers and principals incurred millions of losses in the earlier phase of the MCO, as all non-essential services and sectors came to an abrupt halt.
New vehicle sales in March fell 60% year-on-year to 22,478 units, with over 32,000 fewer vehicles rolled off showrooms during the MCO.
The Malaysian Automotive Association also reported a 44% plunge in sales volume last month compared to 40,403 units delivered in February, as the deadly coronavirus crippled the automotive industry nationwide.