Volkswagen doesn’t want competitors unsurping its electric car efforts, so there’s a plan afoot to give buyers what they want at a much lower price, sources claim. Two reports, citing those with knowledge of a strategy not yet approved by the automaker’s supervisory board, state the company plans to go cheaper than its upcoming line of I.D.-badged EVs.
How cheap, you ask? How about $21,000?
That’s the price stated by Bloomberg in its late-Thursday report, with sources claiming the vehicle — a subcompact crossover — would enter production in 2020, likely at VW’s Emden, Germany assembly plant. Production would total 200,000 vehicles per year.
VW’s first MEB-platform electric vehicle, called the I.D. Neo (seen above), is also headed for a 2020 production start date, with the company claiming the hatchback will start around $26,000. Slotting a new, cheaper vehicle below that would help cover VW Group’s bases. While the report cites Tesla as a main competitor, the yet-undelivered base Model 3 carries a price of $35,000 in the U.S. and wouldn’t be any less costly in Europe. With this entry-level EV, VW would be guarding its back door against the likes of Renault and other affordable, mainstream automakers.
A report in Reuters states pretty much the same thing, with a source saying the new vehicle would cost less than 20,000 euros (or less than $22,836). All of this is designed to protect VW’s massive domestic workforce from dastardly, diesel-hating lawmakers and cunning automotive rivals. VW is expected to lay out the plan at a Nov. 16 strategy meeting.
With VW’s product horizon filling up with EVs, plant capacity becomes a problem. While the automaker still makes internal combustion cars and light trucks, not all of those models need to be produced in Germany. Production of VW’s Transporter van could make its way to a Ford plant in Turkey, a source claimed. Ah, the Ford connection rears its head again.
A slew of reports in recent days suggest the VW-Ford partnership could take a number of forms, and it’s not out of the question that VW would grant its American counterpart access to its MEB electric architecture. In addition to a light commercial vehicle pair-up, the German automaker also seems interested in the Ford Ranger platform.