Volkswagen recently announced that it would slash the price of its flagship ID.3 electric hatchback by €3,000, putting it in direct competition with Tesla.
The German automaker is expected to lower the price of the ID.3 under €40,000 ($42,000). Many reports speculate that slashing the VW ID. 3’s price would put it in direct competition with the Tesla Model Y. Industry analyst Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer believes that Volkswagen sees Tesla as its toughest competition in the EV markets, especially in China.
“Volkswagen sees how big the threat is from Tesla,” Dudenhoeffer told AFP–a German news agency.
The ID. 3’s expected price drop makes it more affordable than the Tesla Model Y Long Range and Performance in the United States and Europe. The Long Range Model Y in the U.S. starts at $54,990, while the Performance starts at $58,990. In Europe, Tesla sells the RWD Model Y at €44,890 before options, the Long Range starts at €54,990, and the Performance costs €64,990.
The ID. 3’s price drop would put it on par with the cost of the base Model Y in China. Gigafactory Shanghai’s RWD Model Y starts at RMB 261,900 ($38,080). Tesla China sells the Long Range Model Y for RMB 311,900 ($45,350), and the Performance costs RMB 361,900 ($52,620) before options.
VW vs. Tesla’s Market Share in China
According to a local German report, Volkswagen holds 16% market share in China thanks to its internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle sales. China accounts for 40% of Volkswagen’s group sales.
“The times when traditional German carmakers could take their market shares [in China] for granted are gone,” said Gregor Sebastian, an analyst at the Mercator Institute for China Studies.
“In Germany, driving performance remains a key factor [when customers choose a new car.] But in China, where many people spend a lot of their driving time stuck in traffic jams and highly value new technologies, the car’s interaction with the smartphone and overall connectivity is more important,” Sebastian added.
With their advanced technology and fun features, Tesla vehicles cater to drivers’ needs in China. The Elon Musk-led company holds 7.8% of China’s EV segment, behind China’s BYD automaker, which holds 16% of the segment. Meanwhile, Volkswagen holds 2.4% market share in the EV segment, lagging behind Tesla, BYD, and other Chinese automakers. VW’s new price of the ID. 3’s and the vehicle’s upgrades may help the German automaker make bigger waves in the Chinese auto market and other markets as well.
VW teased the debut of an upgraded ID.3 in December 2022. The company noted upgrading the new ID. 3’s technology, recognizing the value customers put on tech in specific markets. The German automaker unveiled its new ID.3 design earlier this month.
“Part of our mission at Volkswagen is to offer state-of-the-art technologies and innovations across all models, including compact vehicles, and the ID.3 exemplifies this – for example when it comes to new convenience and assist systems: we are taking the next step forward on the way to highly automated driving with the use of swarm data in the latest Travel Assist”, explains Kai Grünitz, Member of the Volkswagen Brand Board of Management responsible for Development.