August 28th, 2020 by Steve Hanley
Volkswagen of America has some good news for US customers. In an announcement on August 28, it said the ID.4 — the battery electric SUV built on the company’s MEB electric vehicle platform — will have its official reveal online on September 23 at 11:00 am Eastern Daylight Time at VW.com. Immediately thereafter, customers will be able to reserve an ID.4 online and lock in their place in line with a fully refundable $100 deposit. As the production process unfolds, Volkswagen will notify customers when the time to build their car is getting near. That’s when customers will be able to finalize their order by increasing their deposit to a total of $500.
The announcement includes some interesting details. The ID.4 will be available in all 50 states, unlike some electric cars — we’re looking at you, Hyundai and KIA — that are only available in states that adhere to the emissions regulations promulgated by the California Air Resources Board. The announcement also says the first deliveries will begin before the end of this year. We know that production of the ID.4 began at the factory in Zwickau last week. What the announcement doesn’t say is how much the ID.4 will cost. Presumably that information will be available closer to the September 23 reveal. Buyers of the ID.4 will be eligible for the full federal EV tax credit if they qualify.
“The easy-to-use platform lets Volkswagen fans reserve an ID.4 in a few simple steps. The platform also includes shopping tools such as a range estimator, payment tool and dealer selection to assist shoppers with finding an ID.4 model and making the transition to EV ownership,” VOA says. Duncan Movassaghi, executive vice president for sales and marketing at Volkswagen adds, “Our online reservations portal will give those who are ready to make the switch to an EV SUV a place at the front of the line. We’re excited to share the future of Volkswagen with the ID.4. It’s a compelling, zero direct emissions alternative to the compact SUVs on the market today.”
After placing a reservation, customers will receive regular updates from Volkswagen during the production and delivery process. Once their car arrives at one of the 600 Volkswagen dealerships in the US, customers will be able to complete their purchase. This is not quite the online sales model Tesla has pioneered but neither is it the traditional franchise dealer model common throughout the US. If nothing else, it should reduce the amount of haggling over the price of a car so typical in US car showrooms.
Volkswagen has created a new sales model for its dealers in Germany in which the manufacturer processes all the details of the sale and takes care of financing while the dealer serves as a delivery and service agent. One can only speculate if Volkswagen of America is nudging cautiously toward a similar sales model in the US.
As we reported back in March, Volkswagen says, “The ID.4’s aerodynamically refined exterior perfectly sets the stage for the MEB’s revolutionary architecture: the vehicle’s front end is short and the wheelbase long, giving superlative space on the inside. The driver and passengers in the ID.4 take a seat in the Open Space, the airy and bright vehicle interior.” With SUVs being the hottest segment of the new car market at present, the arrival of the ID.4 should be a welcome addition to the US market.
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