By on May 10, 2019

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]


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11 Comments on “VW Says ID.3 Pre-orders Exceeding Expectations...”

  • avatar

    10,000 reservations exceeds expectations? Then why build a factory with a capacity of 330,000 units?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Tesla got >115k reservations for the Model 3 in the hour before it was even revealed. I was one of them.

    As for the ID.3, it seems indistinguishable from a Golf. It shouldn’t look like a science project, but at least it should look like a different model.

    And VW may be outwardly proud of their factory, but inwardly they’ve got to be sweating the battery supply. Audi and Hyundai/Kia are both severely constrained on batteries at the moment. 1 million EVs a year is a pipe dream for Tesla, let alone VW.

    • 0 avatar

      You really think that looks like a Golf? I’m not seeing the resemblance beyond the generic VW front end.

    • 0 avatar

      Notice how Tesla has failed to significantly produce the $35,000 Model 3 it promised almost three years ago, while VW will produce their car in less than one third the time, and with the stated prices. Notice a complete lack of waiting list buyers for any of Tesla’s vehicles except the Model 3 and notice how Model 3 sales, like sales of the Model S and Model X , have fallen off a cliff. April sales of the Model 3 were lesss than half those of its previous months sales, despite Tesla cutting prices and making up most of its disappearing Federal tax credit. Notice also the fraudulent sales claims – many Model 3 sales in April came from the waiting list , whose people bought the car not n April, but over the past three years. Tesla’s remaining tax credit gets cut in half come July 1. Expect further sales weakness.

    • 0 avatar

      I disagree – one of the best things about the e-Golf is that it just looked like a car, not some attempt at futuristic or just downright strange styling.

  • avatar

    reservations? yes. about any VW product, having had the great misfortune of being an owner

    VW still hasn’t mastered the electronics on gas cars so this thing should be an epic mess

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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.

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