Selling EVs is not always the same as conventional cars.
Beginning in early 2020, Volkswagen will be selling its first of many all-electric vehicles in the US and other parts of the world. The I.D. hatchback will be roughly the size of the Golf and will be priced similar to what the now discontinued Golf diesel went for. Production is slated to get underway in November and VW, naturally, wants this first batch of I.D.s to sell out fast. Creating hype for any new product is important for its long-term success and VW has made it very clear it's in it for the EV long haul.
According to Automotive News Europe, the German automaker plans to borrow a page right out of Tesla's playbook by asking customers to place a deposit on a new I.D. before production even begins.
Assuming VW decides to go that route, however, it will reportedly be for European customers only. This first-come, first-served method has done wonders for Tesla. Not only did it generate some immediate cash (which Tesla needed and VW does not), but it also got people talking. Tesla didn't even have to pay for an extensive media campaign. Instead, first depositors and social media, in general, handled that.
But why only in Europe? After all, the first Tesla Model 3 depositors were mostly in the US. "We have tested it (the pre-sales method) several times in Norway and the customers want it. It's surprising but people in Norway and Holland want to be a part of it.
"Germany is definitely not the pacemaker in Europe," said Juergen Stackmann, VW brand sales chief. Those who place a deposit first will get a car first. Simple as that. Question is, how much will that deposit be? Stackmann couldn't provide a figure just yet but emphasized it wouldn't be a lot of money. What it won't be is a simple "keep me informed" type of thing because VW wants a serious buying commitment. Unlike Tesla, VW is in a much better position to actually deliver its new EV when it says it will.
Remember Tesla Model 3 "production hell"? That won't be the case with VW. And if this pre-sales method works well for the automaker in Europe, we wouldn't be surprised if it gets used in the US too.