Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is piloting a ‘twilight’ scheme, which will provide extended-hours service and repair facilities for van owners and operators keen to minimise downtime.
Initially available across three van centres, the initiative will extend to a further two LCV dealerships, while a decision on what form the extended servicing format takes will be taken in the second quarter of next year.
A spokeswoman for the firm said: “The pilot programme is in response to customers keen to minimise the amount of time their VW vans are off the road. It means they can leave Caddies, Transporters, Caddys, Crafters or Amaroks at a service department at the end of the working day and collect them the following morning.”
She said opening hours would vary across the five trial outlets, but the basic parameter might involve keeping workshops open until 10pm and/or opening at 6am. Head of service plans Trevor Hodgson-Phillips is overseeing the scheme and dealers could be mandated to provide flexible service department access 12 hours daily.
A decision on the structure of the final programme, dubbed ‘twilight’ internally, will be taken during the second quarter of next year and no decision has been taken about how many of the 71 VW LCV centres will be involved.
Unlike Mercedes’ extended hours system, which is linked to Mercedes-Benz Trucks, the VW concept is unconnected to the group’s MAN lorry business and not prompted by operators who run trucks and vans.
The three centres currently involved are Cordwallis, Bedfont (near Heathrow), VW Van Centre, Hull, and Imperial Commercials, Stoke, with Citygate Colindale, joining at the end of this year alongside Vindis Northampton from the start of next year.