Sales of VW electric vehicles in China are off to a sluggish start

Shanghai- Volkswagen ID Series — Its Backbone Electric car Ambition — Even company sources are off to anxiously what they call a late start China..

February May Sales ID.4 The total number of electric SUV models released just two months ago is only 1,213. According to car consultancy LMC, this is about 200 less than in April.

Sales are well below initial expectations, and four people who are aware of this issue state that other automakers have achieved early sales of their flagship EV products in the world’s largest automotive market.

Volkswagen’s venture with state-owned SAIC Motor to slightly enlarge the ID.4 X model will be 50,000-60,000 units this year, according to comments from company marketing executive Yang Siyao in Chinese media in March. I was aiming to sell.

World No. 2 The automaker and FAW, which make ID.4 CROZZ, had similar goals, one source said. These goals now look unrealistic.

In addition, EV plants in both ventures are below 10% of production capacity, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Sources say that there is a lack of smart technology, fierce competition, and delays in launch. Tesla There is a problem with Chinese EV makers and their new EV sales network.

“So far, sales have been lower than previously expected. I had to dial down ID.4’s production plan many times,” he allowed to talk to the media like any other source. Those who have not been and refused to be identified said. ..

“This isn’t healthy, but at this point customers aren’t coming to buy them.”

As another sign of sales stress, SAIC-Volkswagen offered staff to buy ID.4, according to an internal note seen by Reuters.

By comparison, Tesla sold its 6,612 Model Y In China in the first two months after launch. ID.4’s sales performance in China also contrasts with the best-selling Europe. Electric car According to JATO Dynamics, 12,101 units were sold in the first two months after launch.

Volkswagen stated its ID in a statement to Reuters. Sales in China were in line with expectations as it built production and a new sales network. Tesla Model Y As a direct competitor of ID.4, which occupies a different vehicle segment.

He also said he was confident that sales of two ID.4 models would grow and plans to launch three more ID models in China this year.

Not smart enough?

China is more aggressive than any other country in promoting the adoption of electric vehicles and is introducing sales slots to reduce pollution, drive growth in the automotive industry and reduce dependence on oil.

Volkswagen is the nation’s largest foreign car maker, owning 3.85 million cars (mainly gasoline) sold last year, and is more successful in migrating its customers to EVs than the average car maker. It also announced its intention to surpass Tesla as the world’s top EV maker by 2025, ensuring that China will be an important battlefield.

But getting customers involved is a whole different matter.

Last week at a shopping mall in western Shanghai, 50-year-old engineer David Qian was looking for his wife’s EV, but wasn’t attracted to ID.4X, which starts at 200,000 yuan (a little less than 200,000 yuan). understood. $ 31,000).

“The car looks okay, but I know it’s not smart enough,” said Qian, who owns it. Tesla model 3 And we are enthusiastic about the supported driving skills.

Unlike the Tesla model and the growing number of vehicles from Chinese electric car makers such as Xpeng and Nio, ID.4 cannot park itself and offers advanced self-driving and advanced voice control capabilities. No.

“Chinese consumers appreciate the technology and science fiction sensibilities of electric vehicles, brand loyalty is always low, and it’s quite different from the European market,” said AutoForesight, a Shanghai-based consultancy. Said Yale Zhang.

Also, unlike Europe, competition for electric vehicles is already intensifying in China. In China, many manufacturers are competing, with the best-selling Wuling Hong Guang competing. mini Entry-level sedan made by EV, General Motors The cost of the joint venture is only 28,800 yuan ($ 4,450).

The SAIC-Volkswagen showroom, a shopping mall where Qian checked ID.4, is right next to a store run by Xpeng and close to rival stores owned by EV startups Neta and Huawei. Ceres. A store of Chinese EV maker Aiways will open soon.

“Compared to Europe, this car is more competitive, it’s an all-new model, and it has a strong technical flair,” Zhang said.

Volkswagen said in a statement that it will provide new software feature updates with new models in the future.

Problems with teething

Volkswagen is faster than some other foreign car makers in China, Toyota Motor And Ford Motor Co, but sources say it should have ideally moved faster.

The joint venture’s EV plant can each produce 300,000 vehicles annually and is ready for mass production in early 2020, but due to the time it took to develop the vehicle in Germany, the new ID.4 will be available until July. He added that he did not get regulatory approval.

At the distribution level, Volkswagen is working to introduce a new sales strategy that is popular with pure EV competitors.

Rather than relying primarily on the existing approximately 2,000 dealer network, showrooms are typically located in shopping centers, prices are fixed, and showroom operators are moving to an out-of-stock EV distributor sales model.

However, lack of inventory means that staff accustomed to the pressures of inventory have less financial motivation to sell their products, people familiar with the matter said.

Volkswagen said in a statement that production at the EV plant is on schedule and internal feedback on the new agency model is very positive.

It had 12 IDs. As of the end of May, we have stores in China, and we plan to open more than 100 stores by the end of this year. Also, the number of IDs is increasing. More than 1,000 distributors from the current 825 to the end of the year.

Sales of VW electric vehicles in China are off to a sluggish start

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