Production of the Volkswagen ID.4 and ID.7 in Emden, Germany is being reduced significantly, and the head of the works council there blames weak demand for electric cars.
“We notice the reluctance of customers in the electrical world very vehemently,” works council chief Manfred Wulff told German newspaper Nordwest Zeitung.
In translated remarks, he also said “something is going wrong” and the situation is “already dramatic”, with demand 30 per cent below original production projections.
Mr Wulff added the ID.7 had been intended to enter production in July, but has now been delayed to “later this year”.
“What we are concerned about is the current dip in demand – not just at Volkswagen, but at all manufacturers,” said Lower Saxony’s economic minister Olaf Lies, floating the idea of vehicle incentives.
“We are confident that the utilisation of the plant will increase again with the market launch of the ID.7 at the end of the year,” a Volkswagen spokesperson in Emden told the newspaper.
Before then, Volkswagen is reportedly cancelling the late shift in production in the next 14 days until the factory holidays. A three-week vacation for employees manufacturing electric vehicles will be extended by one week, and around 300 of the 1500 temporary workers will no longer be employed from August.
The Volkswagen Group’s rollout of the MEB electric vehicle architecture was spearheaded by former CEO Herbert Diess, who left the company “by mutual agreement” last year.
The ID.4 has been in series production since 2020 in VW’s Zwickau plant in Germany, and the company also commenced production at the Emden plant in 2022.
It’s also manufactured in China and the US, while the ID.7 will also be produced in China.
The ID.4 was the 50th best-selling car in Europe last year, with 67,655 examples sold according to data from JATO Dynamics. Its arch-rival from Tesla, the Model Y, sat in 13th place with 138,128 sales, though the Volkswagen outsold every other exclusively electric SUV on the market.
The ID.7 has yet to be confirmed for Australia, but the ID.4 will come here during 2024 alongside the ID.3 and ID.5.