The other day, we got news that Tesla CEO (or Technoking, technically) Elon Musk was invited to join a meeting of 200 Volkswagen Group managers. That may seem weird — well, it is weird — but it also makes a lot of sense. Volkswagen appears to be the legacy automaker most seriously working to electrify its vehicles. Though, Volkswagen is not one person. It’s tens of thousands of people working in vehicle manufacturing, engine manufacturing, sales, service/repairs, and more. Plus, in the case of Volkswagen Group, you’ve got several different brands. Some of the people working at Volkswagen Group companies would like to see a rapid shift to fully electric vehicles, and other people don’t even think a shift is inevitable. Diess is clearly in the former group, and he’s constantly working to convince people in the latter group to get on the electric train. Hence bringing Musk into a meeting of 200 company managers.
With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at how the EV transition is going for Volkswagen as well as a few other automakers in the US market.
Naturally, Tesla tops the market since it sells 100% fully electric vehicles. If you’ve been following this stat for a few years, it is probably unsurprising to see that Porsche topped the charts for legacy automakers, as it has been sitting in that position for a long time. In the third quarter, 12.2% of its sales were pure electric (Porsche Taycan) sales. Note, however, that that is down from the second quarter, when it was 17.7%.
Another member of Volkswagen Group, Volkswagen itself, was next on the podium thanks to 7.6% of its US auto sales being fully electric (all the ID.4). That is a big step up from the second quarter of 2021, when Volkswagen’s EV share of its overall auto sales was 4.8%.
I would say that after that, there’s not much more to mention. However, since next in line is one more Volkswagen Group brand and since it’s score dropped so much compared to the second quarter, let’s mention Audi as well. In the second quarter, 3.8% of its US sales were electric (e-tron or e-tron Sportback), whereas that figure dropped to 1.9% in the third quarter. So, while Volkswagen’s percentage increased last quarter, the auto conglomerate’s higher class brands (Porsche and Audi) saw their percentages drop a bit.
What will we see from Volkswagen Group brands in the 4th quarter? It’s anyone’s guess. What’s yours?
As far as the rest of the industry, well, their results are nothing to write home about. Not to mention all of the automakers that don’t have electric cars designed electric from the ground up (not just modified from gasoline-powered vehicle designs), BMW, Nissan, Ford, and Chevrolet need to step up their EV sales efforts. EV shares below 2% simply don’t cut it. In fact, in my opinion, an EV share below 10% doesn’t cut it in 2021. But that means that only Porsche deserves a little applause at this point. Perhaps Volkswagen can join the party in the 4th quarter or in 2022?
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