The introduction of the name "V.A.G", the Volkswagen and Audi sales organisation acquires a crossbrand identity. The acronym with its associations to both Volkswagenwerk AG and Audi, has the character of a trademark. Under the umbrella of V.A.G, the service system is standardised and modernised to meet more demanding customer expectations and tougher competition. As before, the sales organisation is based on the franchise system, meaning that retailers do business as independent companies in accordance with the Volkswagen Group's uniform standards. At the end of 1978, the worldwide V.A.G sales organisation has over 211,000 employees in 10,600 firms.