With regard to its own position vis-à-vis the electric car pioneer Tesla, the Volkswagen Group has recently heard rather reserved tones. Audi boss Markus Duesmann insists that batteries are now on the same level, but gives Tesla a two-year lead in software and autonomous driving.
Herbert Diess, as the head of the entire Volkswagen Group, even openly describes Tesla as the great role model.
The president of the dealer association for the VW and Audi brands in Germany, however, was now publicly confident of victory after his initial experience with the new VW ID.3: With the new electric car, Tesla will be quickly overtaken, he said.
President sees VW overtaking Tesla soon
The VW ID.3 is the first electric car on the new MEB platform, and many more models from various Volkswagen brands are to follow soon after it. The first item can be ordered in Germany since the end of June. In terms of range, the electric VW is for the first time at the level of the two variants of the Tesla Model 3 – and in terms of price far below. Deliveries of the ID.3 should begin this September, initially with some missing software functions that will be delivered later.
In an interview with Merkur.de, Dirk Weddingen von Knapp, President of the Volkswagen and Audi Partner Association eV, so to speak, the top dealer for the two brands in Germany, commented on the first sales experience with Volkswagen’s mass entry into the future of electric cars. Unlike Tesla, the dealerships are mostly not part of Volkswagen itself, but are operated by the partners in the association. According to Weddingen von Knapp, the year 2020 will bring you an overall double-digit decline in sales due to the corona slump in the first half of the year, but the VW ID.3 is in great demand.
“Many market watchers will be amazed at how quickly we will overtake Tesla with the ID.3,” the dealer president even predicted. So far, the demand for the new VW electric car has far exceeded expectations, he said, without giving any details on any of the points. The delivery time for most variants is now around four months instead of a few weeks, he explained.
Volkswagen e-SUV in front of Tesla Model Y
Until recently, Volkswagen stuck to its goal of producing 100,000 units of the ID.3 this year; when it started in June, this was withdrawn without any new information due to corona delays. But the ID.4 SUV offshoot is also due to come from the Zwickau plant this year, and Audi is planning the Q4 e-tron for 2021, which will also be an alternative to the Tesla Model Y, which will probably be available in Germany from next summer.
With the growing selection of lower prices at VW and probably at least comparable with Tesla even at Audi, Volkswagen dealers in Germany could actually score in the short term. This is all the more true as the approach of Model Y in Europe is likely to induce some interested parties to be reluctant, for whom only a Model 3 was previously considered.
According to Merkur.de, a modest 4,500 Tesla Model 3, which were sold from January to July 2020, could be beaten in Germany. But when the German Gigafactory is ready in July 2021, Tesla could deliver many more electric cars than before – and with the Model Y produced there, take back Volkswagen’s temporary home advantage.