Tribal retains VW as brand eyes global electric car boost

vw golfTribal Worldwide has survived a 12-month review of Volkswagen’s global digital marketing account, with the car marque deciding to retain the Omnicom shop on the account, which it has held since launching in 2000.

The review was due to conclude last May but was delayed due to Covid-19, with the process being overseen by VW Passenger Cars UK digital marketing manager Marianne Bearton.

The German car giant has said Tribal Worldwide will continue to work with VW and VW Commercial Vehicles on website content and services, as well as “blended retail” digital tools to ensure the division is as “digitally open” as possible.

The VW Group dominates the European car market, and accounted for around a quarter of new car registrations in the region between January and November 2020. Year-to-date, the automaker sold some 2.7 million units, but group sales fell 15% overall due to the impact of Covid-19; representing its worst performance in close to a decade.

VW Group’s global deliveries declined by 15% to 9.31 million, the automaker reported earlier this month, including sales of the VW, Audi, Porsche, Skoda and Seat brands, and its Scania and MAN heavy truck units.

The extent of the automaker’s sales losses was largely determined by the level of exposure to the regions most disrupted by the virus.

VW’s push to produce more electric vehicles should lead to a sales spike this year, industry analyst Yoshiaki Kawano has predicted, but prolonged lockdowns and dealership showroom closures in its domestic market will continue to have an adverse impact.

The challenging market conditions will bring more pressure on Tribal Worldwide but chief executive Tom Roberts said: “We are all delighted to retain the VW digital business. We have held the account for over 20 years and helped it to create the first fully connected customer journey between screen and dealership. To successfully pitch for the business and demonstrate our value as a strategic partner feels pretty special.

“VW is at the forefront of the transformation currently underway in the automotive industry and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Sarah and her team to deliver exceptional experiences for their customers.”

VW’s CRM account is also out for pitch, with incumbent Rapp (which took on the business following its merger with previous incumbent Proximity London), battling to retain the business. DDB handles the pan-European advertising account; PHD runs media.

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