Volkswagen confirms larger electric SUV coming to the US, hybrids too?


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Volkswagen confirms larger electric SUV coming to the US, hybrids too?

A new, larger VW electric SUV will arrive in the US. Despite several automakers pulling back, Volkswagen says it’s sticking to its EV plans. Meanwhile, the automaker may add hybrids as it looks to boost sales in the US.

Volkswagen sticks to US electric vehicle plans

After delivering 37,789 electric vehicles (only the ID.4 for now) in the US last year (+84.2% YOY), Volkswagen looks to accelerate sales in 2024.

According to registration data, VW was the eighth top-selling EV maker last year, with 3.2% of the US market. Although sales are up, VW was still behind rivals Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Hyundai.

Rivals like Mercedes, Ford, and GM have pushed back EV targets, citing slowing than expected demand, but Volkswagen Group of America CEO Pablo Di Si says EV plans remain.

“We’re not questioning the future,” Di Si told Automotive News during VW’s annual media conference. The comments mirror those made by VW Group CEO Oliver Blume. Blume explained the group established a “solid foundation” in 2023.

“With inspiring products, a consistent and clear focus on implementation, we are looking forward to the 2024 financial year with confidence,” Blume said.

2024 Volkswagen ID.4 (Source: Volkswagen US Media Site)

VW expects to continue to “grow profitably” in North America. CFO Arno Antilitz said VW could see the highest growth in North America this year, with interest rates expected to come back down.

The German automaker is strengthening its EV lineup with a longer-range ID.4 (see our review) and two new all-electric models, including the ID.7 and ID Buzz.

Volkswagen ID.7 (Source: VW)

VW to launch new electric SUV, may add PHEVs in the US

Di Si doesn’t see the new EVs driving huge growth but calls them halo models. On the ID Buzz, Di Si said, “Is it going to be a volume driver like Atlas? Probably not.” But VW doesn’t want it to be. It’s designed as a niche product.

The brand’s North American leader said VW will continue investing in SUVs. He confirmed VW will launch a large electric SUV in the US that could be the volume EV they are looking for.

From left to right Volkswagen ID.4, ID Buzz, ID.7 (Source: Volkswagen US Media Site)

Although Blume confirmed EVs were “the future, period,” he added, “we are flexible enough to adapt to changes in different markets.

Volkswagen doesn’t offer a PHEV (or any hybrid) in the US, but that could change. Di Si said VW is taking a close look at it and looks to address it in the near term.

The brand launched the Tiguan PHEV in Europe with up to 62 miles of all-electric range. “We have the basis, we’re just trying to figure out how, when, how to homologate and how to localize,” Di Si said.

Volkswagen Tiguan PHEV (Source: Volkswagen AG)

The leader didn’t confirm plans for a PHEV but did say new tech was not needed. Di Si said VW has the platform and tech. “You can take that and adapt it to another SUV if we want to.”

Volkswagen isn’t the only automaker looking to lean more into hybrids. Toyota, Ford, GM, and others have announced similar plans.

Porsche also confirmed it would stick to its EV target with plans to launch several new electric models, including the Macan EV and updated Taycan. Blume said the Macan EV already earned 10,000 orders, “and these customers haven’t even been able to drive the car yet.”

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