Volkswagen Group successfully continued its transition to electric vehicles in the first three months of 2023, delivering 141,000 all-electric vehicles globally, but Europe proved to be its biggest market once again.
After its strong performance in 2022, when it led the European all-electric vehicles (also called battery EVs, or simply BEVs) market with a share of 22.4 per cent, the German automobile group didn’t take its foot off the pedal and continued to dominate the industry.
In Europe alone, the group had increased its deliveries by 68 per cent, delivering 98,300 units by the end of March — a number less than a thousand short of the group’s total EV deliveries worldwide in the Q1 of 2022.
This year globally, Volkswagen shipped 141,000 EVs to customers this year, marking a 42 per cent rise over last year’s first quarter, with the company having a strong showing in the US as well, almost doubling its sales.
It was not all daises and roses for the Wolfsburg-based car industry behemoth, as it struggled to replicate the magic in China. Its deliveries slipped in the country by 25 per cent, possibly due to many Chinese EV makers launching their products and expanding their own business.
If that might be a thing to worry about for the German bosses, there’s plenty of good stuff as well. Volkswagen, which is the largest car manufacturer in Europe, has just unveiled the ID.7, the first all-electric Volkswagen for the upper mid-size class and is expected for launch in 2023 autumn in Europe and China, and 2024 in North America.
The new electric drive is predicted to offer ranges of up to 700 kilometres, with charging capacities of up to 200kW possible — definitely underlying its long-distance suitability for frequent drivers and fleet customers.
But that’s not all, the car will also provide other luxury features bringing it in-line with its class — and maybe standing out a bit too. It will have new air conditioning, seat Climatronic system with massage function, a panoramic sunroof with dimmable smart glass, a 15-inch infotainment system, and an augmented reality heads-up display.
The company believes the ID.7 will give them further tailwind in all core markets, with one board member calling it an “extremely important model for the Volkswagen brand”. And to top all that off, it’s just one of the ten new electric models the brand will be launching by 2026.
The ID.7’s launch will surely come as good news then, given that VW’s electric SUVs have been their biggest selling point. Volkswagen’s ID.4/ID.5 were the most successful models in the first quarter of 2023, followed by ID.3, with a combined delivery of almost 65,000 units globally.
But the Volkswagen Group is not just reliant on Volkswagen models, with only around half of the sales coming from the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand. The next best-selling brands were Audi (25 per cent share), and ŠKODA (9 per cent share), both of them a part of the larger Volkswagen Group.
In fact, Audi Q4 e-tron and ŠKODA Enyaq iV were the third and fourth-best selling BEVs respectively. SEAT/CUPRA, also under Volkswagen Group, was also a big winner, enjoying a massive 318 per cent increase in sales over the previous year. However, Porsche (yes, again under VW group) did suffer a slight decrease in deliveries by three per cent.
Hildegard Wortmann, member of the Extended Executive Committee for Sales, said: “We will keep our sights on our ambitious goal of BEVs accounting for around one in ten vehicles delivered globally to customers this year.”
Quite an ambition, but not one that’s supremely unrealistic for Volkswagen?