Slow sales start for the VW ID.4 in China

Slow sales start for the VW ID.4 in China

Sales of the VW ID.4 in China have so far apparently fallen far short of what the German automaker had hoped for, according to a media report, with only 1,213 of the two ID.4 e-models sold together in May.

Insiders attributed the unpromising debut to a lack of tech features, leg-heavy competition, a late launch compared to rivals, and problems with a new e-car distribution network in China.

Sales are falling far short of initial hopes, four people familiar with the matter said. The numbers also lagged behind what some other automakers achieved with early sales of flagship EV offerings in the world's largest auto market. "We had to keep scaling back production plans for the ID.4," said one person, who like the other sources was not authorized to speak to the media and declined to be identified. "It's not healthy, but right now customers aren't coming to buy them," the person said, according to the report.

A joint venture between VW and state-owned SAIC Motor makes the slightly larger ID.4-X model, and the company had targeted sales of 50,000 to 60,000 vehicles this year, Yang Siyao, a marketing executive at the company, told Chinese media in March. Another joint venture between VW and FAW, which makes the ID.4 Crozz, had similar targets, according to one of the insiders.

Only 1,213 of the two ID.4 electric SUV models launched just two months earlier were sold together in May, about 200 fewer than in April, according to auto consultancy LMC. In addition, both companies' EV factories were running below 10 percent of production capacity, according to three of the people.

The report draws a comparison with Tesla, saying the e-car maker sold 6,612 units of its Model Y in China in the first two months after launch. The ID.4's sales performance in China also contrasts sharply with Europe, where it sold 12,101 units in the first two months after launch, according to Jato Dynamics.