Taking products to a whole new country is no mean feat, but Volkswagen Group seems unphased by the unknown as it enters the US electric vehicle (EV) market.
Through product development and strategic acquisition the German conglomerate is dreaming of ways in which it can appeal to consumers in the states, by not only providing them with a new model VW—the ID.4 Buzz—but also challenging the leaders in the US head on as it develops upon a historic US brand.
The ID.4 EV moves to the US
Since the dawn of the EV, the company has developed various models of its ID-line, which now includes the ID.4, a vehicle that VW hopes will revolutionise the way the US automotive industry looks at EVs.
Bringing the SUV to the US market aligns with the goal of the Biden administration to ramp up the production and adoption of electric vehicles in states. An organisation like VW entering the market is likely to disrupt the major EV players, such as Rivian and General Motors (GM) as it proposed significant production quantities. This will be helped by the company’s plans to develop a battery development and manufacturing facility in the country, including an investment of around US$22bn in a battery laboratory.
Entering the US market with a heritage automotive brand
As part of a previous deal, VW acquired rights to the US brand, International Harvester Scout. The brand is popular in the states with its main era of manufacturing beginning in the 60s and halted in the 80s.
Bringing this brand back to life is something that VW is aiming for and it’s likely that it will take the form of a pickup truck, SUV, or both—similar to the models that the EV design and manufacturing company, Rivian, produces.
VW’s electric vehicle endeavours to date
The company has seen growing success in the EV space as it continues to offer new and exciting models, but in the form of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and hybrids, which almost doubled to 7.5% of its total deliveries in 2020. In the same year, the firm increased its sales of alternatively-fuelled cars to 19.3%.
In the following year, the company delivered more than 369,000 cars that were BEVs or hybrids with the Golf model remaining a popular choice of many.
“Volkswagen is continuing to press ahead with the transition to e-mobility despite the limited supply of semiconductors,” says Ralf Brandstätter, CEO of the Volkswagen brand.
While EV adoption is increasing, the company continues to deliver high volumes of vehicles across all of its propulsion platforms, reaching 4.897 million, but this is a decline from the previous year which was 8% higher.
As the owner of many other car companies, it has seen many developments taking place as its subsidiaries choose their own EV pathways through acquisitions, partnerships and the development of facilities. Its EV range consists of the recent ID.4 plus its GTX variant, as well as the ID.3, ID.5 and its ID. Buzz—an homage to the historic VW Camper. There are also some exciting concept vehicles in the public eye, which utilise the design elements of its current vehicles and previous models like the beetle.