VW Says ID.3 Pre-orders Exceeding Expectations

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Volkswagen seems to be feeling pretty good about itself today. After announcing pre-orders for the ID.3 hatchback, the first vehicle from VW’s new electric sub-brand, the company reported it was already having issues coping with demand. Within 24 hours, the automaker said it had received more than 10,000 reservations throughout Europe, creating some extra work for its IT department.

“Sometimes, the IT systems are unable to handle the large number of users accessing the system at the same time,” VW said in a release. “This leads to long waiting times and interruptions in the registration process in some markets. Volkswagen is working hard to eliminate the hitches. Nevertheless, more than 10,000 registrations were received throughout Europe during the first 24 hours.”

While it sounds phenomenal, as the company repeatedly noted ID.3 demand is already exceeding expectations, it’s nowhere near Tesla territory. But the American firm is somewhat of an outlier with an almost miraculous ability to get the public excited about new product and a longer history of EV manufacturing. By comparison, VW is still testing the waters — even though it has already agreed to preform a cannonball by 2025 and sell 1 million connected, zero-emission vehicles every year.

Part of VW’s strategy involves converting a factory in Zwickau to become the largest production facility for electric vehicles in all of Europe. The company’s top brass toured the facility earlier this week to see where the ID.3 would be built as Volkswagen issued a press release to assure the world that everything was on schedule.

“It’s my firm conviction that Germany as an automotive location must also lead the way when it comes to electric mobility,” VW CEO Herbert Diess said. “That’s why we’re deliberately converting the Zwickau plant into the largest and most efficient e-car site in Europe. It’s impressive to see what efforts the team is making to help achieve that transformation. Zwickau can become a model for transformation in our industry.”

For the rest of 2019, Zwickau will be retooled so it can focus entirely on e-vehicles based on VW’s Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB), starting with the ID.3. The automaker said the factory would have a capacity of 330,000 vehicles per year and proudly noted that 200 pre-production ID.3s had already been manufactured.

However, these back-to-back announcements feel like they’re doing double duty. While VW is keeping us abridged of when Zwickau is supposed to be ready (late 2019) and how many people were interested in its first ID car, it’s also trying to put out positive vibes about electrification. Volkswagen wants you to make positive associations with the brand and cutting-edge, environmentally friendly automobiles — which has been its modus operandi ever since it was caught cheating on emission tests in 2015.

[Images: Volkswagen Group]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on May 10, 2019

    Yeah, right. I have reservations about buying any VW and especially VW with anything electric in it. So yes I have to be one of those 10,000 who have reservations.

  • Asdf Asdf on May 11, 2019

    This is going to be Dieselgate all over again, with massive recalls and buyback schemes, once consumers realize that they have bought BEVs that are defective by design, having a charging time that exceeds the reasonable five minutes one should expect at maximum, and with a range much shorter than a diesel car, despite the extortionate prices. This is going to affect the incompetent Tesla as well, obviously, but VW has already been there, so it's strange it still actively wants to go through it all again. Then again, building BEVs is all about wasting taxpayer money on non-viable auto projects, so maybe that's a goal in and of itself.

  • Wolfwagen Pennsylvania - Two long straights, 1 medium straight, 1 super short straight and a bunch of curves all on one end
  • Haze3 EV median weight is in the range of 4500-5500lbs, similar to the low end of full size pickup trucks and SUV's or typical mid-size PU's and SUV's. Obviously, EV Hummers and PU's are heavier but, on average, EV=PU or mid/full SUV is about right. EV's currently account for ~1% of the cars on the road. PU's account for 17% and SUV's count for over 40%. If we take out light SUV's, then call it 30% SUV or so. So, large-ish PU's and SUV's, together, account for ~50% of the US fleet vs 1% for EV's. As such, the fleet is ALREADY heavy. The problem is that EV's will be making the currently lighter 50% heavier, not that PU/SUV haven't already done most of the damage on avg mass.Sure, the issue is real but EV responsibility is not. If you want to get after heavies, that means getting after PU/SUV's (the current problem by 40-50x) first and foremost.
  • Redapple2 Telluride over Acadian (sic-tip cap-canada). 1 better car. 2 60 % us/can content vs 39 THIRTY NINE for an "American" car. 3 no UAW labor. Smart people drive Tellurides. Not so smart for the GMC. Dont support the Evil GM Vampire.!
  • Theflyersfan My dad had a 1998 C280 that was rock solid reliable until around 80,000 miles and then it wasn't. Corey might develop a slight right eyelid twitch right about now, but it started with a sunroof that leaked. And the water likely damaged some electric components because soon after the leaks developed, the sunroof stopped working. And then the electrical gremlins took hold. Displays that flickered at times, lights that sometimes decided illumination was for wimps so stayed home, and then the single wiper issue. That thing decided to eat motors. He loved that car but knew when to fold the hand. So he bought a lightly used, off lease E-class. Had that for less than two years before he was ready to leave it in South Philly, keys in the ignition, doors unlocked, and a "Take it please" sign on the windshield. He won't touch another Benz now.
  • Detlump A lot of people buy SUVs because they're easier to get in and out of. After decades of longer, lower, wider it was refreshing to have easier ingress/egress offered by an SUV.Ironically, the ease of getting in and out of my Highlander is very similar to my 56 Cadillac.
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