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

American deliveries of the VW ID.4, shipped from the Zwickau factory in Germany, have begun, but at a high base price of $39,995 (before subsidy). Switching to locally produced units from the Chattanooga plant in 2022, Volkswagen hopes to slash the base price to around $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) last month. 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

The above statement indicates that the $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.

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 this year. Below are the configurations and their other release details announced in the U.S.:

ConfigurationPrice (MSRP)Range (EPA)Availability
ID.4 Pro RWD$39,995260 milesSummer 2021
ID.4 Pro AWD$43,695TBAH2 2021
ID.4 1st Edition$43,995250 milesOn sale (orders closed)
ID.4 Pro S RWD$44,495250 milesTBA
Variants and release dates of the VW ID.4 in the United States.

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. 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 currently 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.

Volkswagen Group has ordered hundreds of robots from Japanese robotics company FANUC for its Chattanooga manufacturing facility. The company plans to use these robots mainly for producing the body and assembling the battery of the ID. models.

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.

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.

Featured Image Source: Volkswagen