VW to serve the US American market with more SUVs
Volkswagen’s new North American CEO, Pablo Di Si, has announced in an interview that he wants to set up his business unit more independently. He wants to more than double the market share by 2030 with new electric SUVs that are to be different from the European models.
As Di Si, who succeeded Scott Keogh, who moved to the new brand Scout, indicated in July in an interview with the German publication Handelsblatt, the market share in North America is to be increased from currently four to five per cent in 2025 – by 2030 it should then be ten per cent. The figures refer to the VW Group, i.e. not only the Volkswagen brand – but also Audi and Porsche, for example.
To achieve these growth targets, Di Si is counting on more electric models for the North American market. In other words, primarily those that are also built in North America and thus qualify for the EV tax credit there. Currently, this offer is limited to the ID.4, which is built at the US plant in Chattanooga. According to Di Si, the ID.4 has also been well received, with the company planning to build around 90,000 ID.4s in Tennessee next year. But the ID.4 is almost too small for the US market – VW also builds much larger combustion SUVs for the US market in Chattanooga, such as the VW Atlas.
Such a model with an electric drive – possibly in the style of the ID.6 X built in China, but with US adaptations – is probably also on the mind of Volkswagen’s new North American boss. An electric SUV the size of the Atlas could be “developed and manufactured locally to the greatest possible extent”, for example at the Mexican plant in Puebla. However, Di Si is not only interested in larger SUVs, but also in SUV models that are primarily US-made. An electric vehicle derivative size of the VW Taos is also conceivable – in other words, a vehicle in the Tiguan segment.
“We need more all-electric models for North America within the next five to seven years. And we want to produce more models locally,” the manager is quoted as saying. “In 2023, we will be able to announce concrete steps here.”
An EV offensive in the US was already planned under former group CEO Herbert Diess. In March, 25 electric vehicle models of the VW brands were announced by 2030 – only for the US market. Di Si does not mention this number now, but – unsurprisingly – wants to focus primarily on the sought-after SUV segment.
As Handelsblatt writes with reference to group insiders, the VW design team in California is to be expanded. In addition, the known plans for its own battery cell production in North America are repeated. The production capacity for vehicles is also to be expanded – but so far it has not been determined where a second US plant of the group is to be built. According to the report, Chattanooga should be doubled in the long term to a capacity of 500,000 cars per year.
handelsblatt.com (in German)