US production of Volkswagen’s ID.4 has now begun, with the first vehicles set to be delivered to customers in October as part of a production ramp-up at the brand’s Chattanooga facility in Tennessee.
190,000 examples of the all-electric crossover have already been delivered to customers globally since its launch last year, a figure that has since inspired Volkswagen of America to increase production at Chattanooga to 7,000 units per month later this year. VW has also confirmed that this production target will increase further in 2023.
It should be noted though that, when Volkswagen released its half-year sales figures for 2022, global sales of the Volkswagen Group’s battery-electric sales were up 27 per cent on the same time last year, 217,100 to 170,900. Of that, only eight per cent – around 17,000, down from 2021’s 18,500 – came from the US, and 66,800 of those global sales came from the ID.4 and ID.5 combined, VW having opted against breakdown per model. Online reports suggest ‘only’ 4,415 ID.4s have been sold in the US saw far this year.
Nevertheless, the first North American examples of the ID.4 (2021 vehicles were imported from Germany) will be delivered this year with the larger 82 kWh battery in either rear or all-wheel drive guise, the former of which boasts the range’s best estimated range in Canada of up to 422 km. Rear-wheel driven examples with the smaller 62 kWh battery are set to go into production later this year, and while Canadian prices for the 2021MY entry level ‘Pro’ trim start at $44,995 – the ‘AWD Pro’ is a step higher at $49,995 – a full overview for vehicles with the smaller battery pack has yet to be revealed.
Production of the ID.4 is the realization of US$800 million investment from Volkswagen into the electrification of its Chattanooga facility – the sixth VW plant outfitted to produce full EVs – which now features dedicated EV vehicle and battery assembly areas. Vehicles built in Tennessee are intended mainly for the North American market – “particularly the United States” – and while the facility already employs over 400 people, VW has stated that more than 1,000 further employment opportunities could be created as the brand continues to push its electrification strategy in North America.
This includes US$7.1 billion over the next five years boost regional research and development, manufacturing capability, and an increased product portfolio – the ID.BUZZ arrives in 2024 with further debuts expected by 2026 – and a US$2.7 billion investment into the development of the group’s lithium-ion battery packs with technical partner SK Innovation.