Volkswagen wants to boost its sluggish electric car sales in China with specially developed budget models. Like that “Handelsblatt” reports, four new cars in the price segment of the equivalent of 18,000 to 22,000 euros are scheduled to launch as early as 2026. The quartet will stand on a new China platform and be made from 95 percent local components. For comparison: In Europe, the new entry-level model ID.2 is scheduled to launch a year earlier, from 2025, at prices starting at 25,000 euros.
The new strategy and the ambitious schedule are a reaction to VW’s small share in the booming Chinese electric car market, which cannot be compensated for by its still strong position in combustion engines. According to the report, VW sales in China in the first three quarters were 16 percent below the already weak previous year’s level. In the summer, VW also announced a development cooperation with the Chinese manufacturer Xpeng, which will result in two electric mid-range models for China. The total of six Chinese models will then complement the existing ID fleet based on the European MEB architecture.
First test: VW ID.7 (2024)
VW ID.7 starts in China from 30,600 euros
In order to keep up with the competition until 2026, Volkswagen is forced to offer existing models significantly cheaper. ID.3 and ID.4 were reduced by up to 16 percent over the summer. The Wolfsburg-based company’s entry-level electric car is available in the Middle Kingdom for just the equivalent of 21,000 euros. With the new electric flagship, the ID.7, which in China is completely called ID.7 Vizzon (derived from the name of the former concept vehicle ID. Vizzon), a different approach was taken. In order to lure customers, the five-meter sedan is currently being offered for 237,777 yuan – which corresponds to around 30,600 euros at the current exchange rate. Almost half of what Volkswagen charges for the ID.7 in this country (from 56,995 euros).
What initially appears to be cheap from a European perspective is, however, a “price shock” for China. Volkswagen originally planned to offer the ID.7 at a significantly lower price. The reasons for the huge price difference between Europe and China are likely to be found in manufacturing, the components used, simplified safety standards and the local tax system. The ID.7 for the Middle Kingdom will not be built in Emden, but by the state-owned FAW Group in China. (Text: tv, hh/sp-x | Images: manufacturer)