Volkswagen has already sold electric cars in key markets this year

“We’re not burnt out because we can’t build cars…we’re really burnt out for electric cars because the demand is higher than expected,” CEO Herbert Diess told the Financial Times at its automotive conference on Monday.

Last week the company, which owns several brands including Porsche and Audi, said it had a order book of 300,000 EVs in Western Europe alone.

Customers placing orders now in select markets can expect to receive their cars next year, a company spokesperson confirmed to CNN Business.

The Volkswagen Group sold more than 99,000 electric vehicles worldwide in the first quarter, up 65% from the same period last year. Its most popular cars included its ID.3 and ID.4 models, and the Audi e-tron.

Volkswagen still lags behind Tesla, which delivered more than three times as many electric vehicles in the same period.

Supply issues ease

It may have the opportunity to make up lost ground later this year as the chip supply improves. The supply chain disruptions that have plagued the auto industry over the past year were starting to ease, and the Volkswagen Group has a “very good supply of semiconductors” as of the third quarter. , said Diess.
VOLVO (VOLAF), a Volkswagen Group competitor, also believes the worst of the chip shortage is behind it. CEO Jim Rowan told the FT on Monday that he believes his business will be “really strong in terms of chip supply” from the second quarter.
The war in Ukraine has exacerbated supply problems in the automotive sector, leading to shortages of essential parts for all vehicles.

But Diess said the company, which has several parts suppliers in Ukraine, still managed to get about 90% of its supply volumes from those factories.

And despite strict coronavirus lockdowns, demand for electric vehicles in China is proving resilient. Diess said Volkswagen Group electric vehicle sales in the world’s largest auto market quadrupled in the first quarter.
BYD, a Chinese electric vehicle maker, reported a 313% increase in sales of its electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in April compared to a year ago. The Warren Buffett-backed company is more insulated than others against supply chain disruptions because it manufactures its own automotive batteries and chips. Rivals Li Auto and Nio both reported lower deliveries in April.

“I am optimistic that even in these really difficult circumstances with Covid in China, the war in Ukraine and still some constraints related to semiconductors, 2022 could still be a good year for us and the rest of the industry,” said Diess.

Laura He contributed reporting.

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