The sales figures are in.
The Volkswagen ID.4 is currently only built in Germany but this will soon change. A major addition to the automaker's Chattanooga, Tennessee plant is nearing completion that's specifically designated to manufacture the automaker's new electric SUV for North America. The ID.4s currently on sale in the US are imported. But the ID.4 isn't the only all-new EV that VW sells. The ID.3 hatchback actually debuted first and rides on the same MEB platform.
Aside from the body style, the vehicles share software and a significant majority of hardware. VW has made clear it has no plan to bring the ID.3 stateside because, as we've long known, Americans want SUVs, not hatchbacks. Over in Europe, it's the opposite situation. Or so we thought.
Automotive News Europe, citing sales figures from JATA Dynamics, has confirmed Europeans are clearly shifting towards a preference for SUVs, at least all-electric ones. A total of 7,335 ID.4s were sold there in April. The ID.3? A still respectable 5,735 units. This begs the question: if the ID.4 didn't exist, would all of its buyers get an ID.3 instead? Unlikely.
"Until now, most of the growth of EV demand has been driven by traditional cars such as the Tesla Model 3 sedan and hatchbacks," said a JATA senior analyst. "We have to remember that SUVs are the drivers of sales/profits growth over the last 10 years. Without SUVs, the EVs will continue to be a niche segment."
If anyone is still wondering why there's an abundance of new electric SUVs instead of more fully electrified sedans, that's their answer.
In all likelihood, battery-electric trucks will be the next big thing, evidenced by the solid response to the Ford F-150 Lightning and GMC Hummer. An all-electric Chevy Silverado is due next year. Additional electric crossovers and SUVs are also on the way, including the Nissan Ariya and the just-announced electrified Ford Explorer.
ID.4 sales in Europe clearly prove the SUV-EV combination is a winning one. It appeals to more consumers, many of whom would likely have purchased a hybrid or plug-in hybrid SUV (of which there are plenty) if the ID.4 didn't exist. They're simply not interested in a hatchback EV. VW hopes to deliver 100,000 ID.4s this year, two-thirds of which are for Europe and the rest for the US and China.