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Volkswagen is feeling the component shortage strain.
If you want to jump on the Electric Vehicle bandwagon in 2022, you may need to look beyond the Volkswagen brand.
According to a recent report in the Financial Times, the company’s chief executive, Herbert Diess, revealed that Volkswagen “is essentially sold out of electric vehicles in Europe and the US.”
The shutdown is due to an ongoing chip shortage — an issue that continues to affect everything from PS5 stock levels to printer cartridge availability — meaning customers in the market for an electric VW, Audi, Porsche, Skoda, Seat or Lamborghini won’t expect it to be available until as early as 2023.
The Financial Times reports that Volkswagen is currently grappling with a long waiting list for existing orders that may struggle to fill by the end of the year – a concern for the brand’s health and the electric vehicle market. A double-edged sword.
On the one hand, the high demand for models from Volkswagen’s growing electric fleet suggests that consumers are willing to give up combustion models en masse. However, the company’s constrained production plans will inevitably slow down its growth ambitions (especially in the U.S.), encouraging potential customers to stick with existing vehicles or shop elsewhere.
Volkswagen sold fewer than 100,000 electric vehicles between January 1 and March 31 this year — compared with 60,000 in the same period in 2021, but about 210,000 fewer than Tesla. The latter brand has led the Electric Vehicle space for most of the past decade, although Volkswagen’s wider range of electric models (considering the myriad brands they control) bodes well for their future position in the industry (Audi e-tron and Porsche Taycan 4S).
Volkswagen isn’t the only car brand feeling the chip shortage, either. As The Verge reported in December, Ford is no longer taking preorders for its popular F-150 Lightning electric pickup. The model is “no longer available for retail” in 2022. That appears to be another Electric Vehicle to forget buying this year.
However, the situation for Volkswagen appears to be more precarious. Not only has the company dented the hopes of potential customers planning to buy its electric vehicles in 2022, as previously mentioned, but those who have already placed orders may also be disappointed by the lengthy delays.
Unlike Ford, however, the company isn’t canceling vehicle reservations entirely. “Customers can still order Volkswagen Group vehicles through our dealers, of course,” a Volkswagen spokesperson said. “While deliveries may take longer than we normally expect, deliveries of certain models are still on track for delivery within 2022.” So don’t completely forget buying a Volkswagen group vehicle. Just be more flexible.
However, these “specific models” may depend on your region, the company added in a statement: “Due to high demand for our award-winning models and restrictions on components sourced from Ukraine and due to global semiconductor shortages, some customers are already pointing to 2023 for deliveries.”
So our advice — if you’re looking to buy a shiny new Electric Vehicle this year check out the equally impressive Korean brands. The Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 are both among the best Electric Vehicles money can buy right now, while the Genesis GV60 is a slightly quirkier (albeit impressive) alternative. Or, if you have a six-figure balance, you can always opt for the “ultimate electric luxury barge” Mercedes EQS sedan.
Alternatively take a look at the Nissan Leaf made in Sunderland.
Yet virtually every major automaker will feel the pinch of a global chip shortage and the war in Ukraine — Volkswagen’s sheer size just means the effects of both will be felt more.
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