Volkswagen cites “strong customer reluctance” amid low EV sales

Credit: Volkswagen

Volkswagen is cutting electric vehicle production at its Emden plant in northwest Germany. And as per recent comments from the veteran automaker, the adjustment is partly due to “strong customer reluctance,” which is leading to lower-than-expected electric car sales. 

Demand for electric vehicles is running about 30% below Volkswagen’s forecasts. Manfred Wullf, head of the Emden plant, shared a comment about the matter. “We are experiencing strong customer reluctance in the electric vehicle sector,” he said. 

Volkswagen attributed part of the decline in consumer interest to reduced subsidies for electric car buyers across Europe and the impact of higher inflation. This decline has affected the company’s overall EV operations. Together with the production cut at the Emden plant, Volkswagen is laying off 300 out of the 1,500 employees involved in EV production at the facility.

Although there has been a surge in the adoption of electric cars in recent years, manufacturers are reportedly growing concerned that EVs are starting to become less attractive due to their premium cost. Battery-powered cars, after all, cost approximately £10,000 ($12,700) more than their petrol-driven counterparts. The price gap between electricity and fuel has also narrowed, as noted in a report from The Telegraph

Volkswagen will thus be postponing the production of its upcoming ID.7 sedan from July to a later date in the year. This is unfortunate, considering that the ID.7 appears to be a pretty good contender in the electric sedan market.

“The Volkswagen brand, like other car manufacturers, is currently seeing softening demand for electric cars. Reasons for this include reduced subsidies, higher inflation, and recent longer delivery times due to the shortage of parts. We are confident that demand for all-electric cars will pick up again as the year progresses. With the extensively revised ID.3 and the new ID.7, we continue to launch attractive new models,” Volkswagen UK noted.

Recognizing the need to compete on price in the electric car segment, Volkswagen has unveiled a prototype, the ID. 2all, which is priced at less than £22,000 ($27,900). Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schäfer has also hinted at an even more affordable electric car that costs less than £17,500 ($22,000).

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Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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