U.S. VW ID.4 production in Chattanooga to start in September 2022 [Update]

The VW ID.4, shipped from the Zwickau factory in Germany, is finally in the U.S., but at a high base price of USD 39,995 (before subsidy). Switching to locally produced units from the Chattanooga plant in 2022, Volkswagen hopes to slash the base price to around USD 35,000.

Scott Keogh, the CEO of Volkswagen’s American subsidiary, has revealed that the SOP date of VW ID.4 at the Chattanooga plant is September 2022. Keogh revealed this to NewsNet (via Vimeo) in March 2021. He said:

It’s (EV adoption is) about American jobs, it’s about the environment, and competitiveness of America, and we at Volkswagen are, frankly, fully on board with that. That’s exactly what we’re doing in Chattanooga. That’s exactly what we’re doing with the launch of the ID.4. We have vehicle assembly and battery assembly. Both the facilities are built, robots are in, software is being fine-tuned, we are doing some initial runs, some initial tests. Real cars will come out of the plant in September of next year.

Scott Keogh, CEO, Volkswagen (USA) to NewsNet on the ID.4

His statement indicates that the USD 35,000 ID.4 will go on sale in the fall of next year. Volkswagen plans to begin pre-series production of the ID.4 in the U.S. this summer, where cars are produced to test and fine-tune operations. That’s confirmation straight from Amanda Plecas, Head of Communications, Volkswagen (USA), as per a report from timesfreepress.com.

Volkswagen Group has ordered hundreds of robots from Japanese robotics company FANUC for its Chattanooga manufacturing facility. The company plans to use the robots to produce the body and assemble the ID model’s battery.

Globally, Volkswagen expects ID.4 deliveries to cross 100,000 units this year alone. The United States should be the biggest export market for the ID.4 outside Europe. Here are the configurations and release details announced in the U.S.:

VW ID.4 variants & availability in the United States

ConfigurationPrice (MSRP)Range (EPA)Availability/Deliveries
ID.4 Pro RWDUSD 39,995260 milesSummer 2021 (June-August 2021)
ID.4 Pro AWDUSD 43,675249 milesQ4 2021 (October-December 2021)
ID.4 1st EditionUSD 43,995250 milesOn sale now (orders closed)
ID.4 Pro S RWDUSD 44,495250 milesOn sale now
ID.4 Pro S AWDUSD 48,175240 milesQ4 2021 (October-December 2021)
Variants and release dates of the VW ID.4 in the United States. All configurations cost USD 1,195 destination charge and are eligible for a potential federal tax credit of up to USD 7,500

The VW ID.4 went on sale in the U.S. in the First Edition RWD configuration costing USD 43,995. The Pro RWD configuration with an MSRP of USD 39,995 was to follow in summer, and so, there is a strong possibility that it is already at dealerships or reaching in the coming weeks. The Pro AWD configuration is already on sale, a post from Twitter user Chandler Manly has revealed. The deliveries of the Pro AWD and Pro S AWD configurations will begin in Q4 2021 (October-December 2021).

Volkswagen expects the ID.4 to account for a third of the brand’s electric car sales by 2025, Ralf Brandstätter, its CEO, and Thomas Ulbrich, the member of the board of management responsible for e-mobility, had revealed in October last year. By 2025, VW aims to have 1.5 million electric vehicles sold annually, with half a million accounted for by the ID.4 electric SUV alone. So the carmaker certainly has a strategy to ensure the VW ID.4 tops the sales of electric vehicles.

US-spec VW ID.4 interior dashboard driver side
Sales of the Made In USA VW ID.4 are expected to accelerate when a sub-30,000 USD variant comes available. Image Source: Volkswagen

In its advertising, VW says the ID.4 is a car for “the millions, not the millionaires,” and while the USD 39,995 price of the ID.4 is higher than the average price of a new car purchased in the United States (which is around USD 36,000), after potential federal EV tax credits of USD 7,500 the ID.4’s price falls to USD 32,495.

At this price segment, the ID.4 will compete with gas-powered crossovers and SUVs like the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Toyota RAV4, or entry-level electric hatchbacks like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt. The Tesla Model 3 is priced from USD 37,990-54,990 and may give the VW ID.4 some competition on price. However, the Model Y, which has a similar crossover shape as the ID.4, is priced at a premium at USD 49,990 for the long-range variant and a stiff USD 59,990 for the Performance model.

US-spec VW ID.4 rear quarters
An 82 kWh battery makes the VW ID.4 capable of going up to 260 miles on a full charge. The electric SUV has its work cut out in convincing buyers of the CR-V and RAV4 to switch to a battery-powered vehicle. Image Source: Volkswagen

And though Tesla has a head-start on production, VW will be making the ID.4 at three locations and five factories – two in Europe (Zwickau & Emden), two in China (Anting and Foshan), and one in the USA (Chattanooga) – chasing world domination in EVs.

Production capacity at Tesla’s Shanghai plant has already hit 250,000 EVs/annum. Eventually, this plant could make as many as 1 million Tesla cars per year (which will include future Tesla models and export volume). The upcoming Tesla Gigafactory Berlin aims to add a further half million units. Then, the Gigafactory Texas would produce the Model Y for the Eastern United States.

With Tesla’s massive production push, the VW ID.4 has its work cut out. Aside from regaining consumer trust after the Dieselgate scandal, the ID.4 has to appeal and convince the Honda CR-V & Toyota RAV4 buyer that they are getting a piece of what Tesla offers sans the premium pricing.

Germany to America: The Zwickau-made ID.4’s journey

Volkswagen started shipping the VW ID.4 it makes in Zwickau, Germany, to the U.S. in February 2021. The company ships the EVs from the factory to The Port of Emden using a rail network and loads them onto the Siem Aristotle. The LNG-powered car carrier ship delivers the EVs to the U.S. at the Port of Davisville in Rhode Island. According to a report from Automotive Logistics, this journey from the German factory to the American port is 27 days.

VW ID.4 to get software updates every 3 months

On July 5, 2021, Volkswagen announced the first OTA software updates for the ID. family. Moreover, the company said that it plans to roll out software updates for the ID. EVs every twelve weeks. The ID.3, which Volkswagen does not plan to launch in the U.S., will become the first ID. model to receive an OTA update this month. The ID.4 and the VW ID.4 GTX will get the update later.

Volkswagen calls the latest software version “ID.Software2.3,” which brings adjustments and improvements to performance, operations, and comfort. The new software improves vehicle stability, enhances ID. Light functionalities and optimizes surroundings recognition and main beam control. Lastly, it brings design modification to the infotainment system and improves operability.

VW ID.4 orders cross 50,000 units worldwide

Volkswagen has received 57,000 orders for the ID.4 five months after its launch, Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO, Volkswagen Group, revealed at Volkswagen Group Annual General Meeting 2021. Dr. Diess said that Volkswagen sold two-thirds of the volume in Europe and the remaining equally in the U.S. and China. From a separate announcement, we know that Volkswagen sold 6,230 units of the ID.4 in the U.S. since deliveries began in March 2021.

The ID.4 has already surpassed the 50,000 mark five months after its launch, with orders currently totaling 57,000. Two-thirds of deliveries go to Europe and the remaining third is split evenly between the U.S. and China. The ID.4 is a world car.

Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO, Volkswagen Group (Volkswagen Group Annual General Meeting 2021)

Worldwide, Volkswagen delivered 37,292 units of the ID.4 in the first half of 2021. Volkswagen Group says that it more than doubled sales of EVs globally in H1 2021 by delivering 170,939 units. In the U.S., the Group-wide EV sales for the H1 2021 period were 18,514 units.

Volkswagen accelerating U.S. EV launches

Volkswagen is likely to increase focus on electrification in the U.S., suggests a new Bloomberg report citing Thomas Ulrich, the company’s R&D chief. Such a move could mean more product launches and faster rollouts.

U.S. President Joe Biden has proposed a USD 174 billion investment to spur EV demand and show the federal government’s strong commitment to EVs. This step has motivated the German automaker to “realign” its U.S. EV strategy “in a massive way,” and it may finalize the changes later this year during its annual investment review.

Volkswagen has almost sold out all the ID.4s which it can deliver in the U.S. this year. The electric SUV’s demand could increase noticeably next year when the sourcing changes to the local factory and prices go down. In 2023, the VW ID. Buzz will arrive in the U.S. as the second dedicated EV in the country from the German brand.

With such popular models from the core brand and other marques, Volkswagen Group could increase its market share in the U.S. two-fold to 10%, Dr. Diess said after announcing the New Auto long-term strategy on July 13, 2021, as per Automotive News. Dr. Diess said that the decision for future Volkswagens in the U.S. beyond the ID.4 and ID. Buzz is still pending, but the sales of models from Audi, Porsche, Bentley, and Lamborghini would grow its market share in the country.

Featured Image Source: Volkswagen