Volkswagen has announced that it has started exporting the ID.4 from Germany. A picture it has released along with the announcement shows units featuring side marker/reflector, indicating that the shipment could include the US-bound units. The United States should be the company’s biggest export market for the ID.4 outside Europe in 2021.
Last month Volkswagen said that it expects the VW ID.4 Pro S and VW ID.4 1st Edition models to reach U.S. dealerships in March. In the latest announcement, it says that VW ID.4 deliveries in the U.S. are scheduled to begin from the middle of the year. It has also announced that presales of additional models in the U.S. market will start by the middle of this month. Globally, Volkswagen expects ID.4 deliveries to cross 100,000 units this year alone.
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 sales of 1.5 million electric vehicles annually, with half a million accounted by the ID.4 electric SUV alone. The carmaker certainly has a strategy in place to ensure the VW ID.4 tops electric vehicles sales chart.
In its advertising, VW says the ID.4 is a car for “the millions, not the milliona ires,” 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 federal EV tax credits of USD 7,500 the VW ID.4’s price falls to USD 32,495.
An entry-level variant at around USD 35,000 (excl. federal tax credit) is planned for launch once the VW ID.4 starts rolling out of VW’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant from 2022. 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.
At this price segment, VW says 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.
And though the 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 USA (Chattanooga) – chasing world domination. Production at Tesla’s Shanghai plant currently has a capacity of 200,000 EVs/annum (as of last quarter), though eventually, this plant could make as many as 1 million Tesla cars per year (which will include future Tesla models, and also account for export volume). The upcoming Tesla Gigafactory Berlin aims to add a further half million units. Then there is the Gigafactory Texas that 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