German automaker Volkswagen has "sold out" of battery-electric vehicles in the United States and Europe for 2022.
As supply chain bottlenecks strike the company’s global production, new customers will have to wait until 2023 to get one, according to Financial Times.
Volkswagen, the world’s second-largest electric vehicle manufacturer, has sold more than 99,000 electric models from its various brands, such as Porsche, Audi, and Škoda, in the first quarter of 2022.
But its production was hit by a shortage of semiconductors and wiring harnesses, as the components were made in Ukraine, and their production was halted due to war.
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Order backlog is increasing
While the market leader Tesla has delivered more than three times the electric vehicles in the same period with around 310,000, Volkswagen Chairman of the Board of Management Herbert Diess said, “We are basically sold out on electric vehicles in Europe and in the United States. And in China, it’s really picking up.”
Diess said the company's order backlog in western Europe was at 300,000 electric vehicles and that customers now placing orders in Europe and the US would not get their electric models delivered before 2023. He also said that he expects orders to increase.
“We have very high order books and . . . order intake on electric vehicles,” Diess added. “That accounts for all of our models from ID.3, ID.4, the Audi models are extremely well received in the markets, and Škoda models are also very well received in Europe.”
Volkswagen's CEO said that the company is aiming for a total of roughly 700,000 electric vehicle sales for 2022 as it attempts to catch up with its competitor Tesla.
However, production has been hampered, particularly in VW’s largest market, China, where it sold just 28,800 electric cars in the first quarter due to COVID-19 lockdowns. Even though Volkswagen had already sold four times more electric vehicles in China than in the same period of the previous year, achieving the company’s new target of selling at least 140,000 electric vehicles in the country is now at stake.
The company warned that there was “a continued risk” that the war and lockdowns in China would “have a negative impact on . . . business activities in the current year.”
However, Volkswagen’s chief financial officer Arno Antlitz said he remained confident that the company’s electric vehicle business would pick up the pace.
He added, “From where we are now, we anticipate a constantly growing battery electric vehicle volume and share in every quarter of 2022.”
The global auto industry’s overall sales forecasts for the year have been reduced in recent weeks. The global economy continues to suffer from the increase in raw material prices, COVID-19 restrictions in China, and the war in Ukraine.