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Why Volkswagen Decided Not To Sell ID.3 In America

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The reasons make absolute sense.

The arrival of the all-new Volkswagen ID.3 is a big deal for the German automaker, despite the all-electric hatchback, roughly the same size as the Golf, not coming to the US. Instead, America will receive the production version of the ID. Crozz compact crossover EV, which is is expected to debut sometime next spring.

After seeing the ID.3 in the flesh at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, we have to admit it's a kind of a shame America is missing out on this one. It's very impressive technologically and we also think it looks far better than, say the Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf. So we asked VW of North America CEO Scott Keogh why the ID.3 will be absent from our shores. "I think we made the right call," he said.

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"Let's be honest about the A hatch segment. One segment sells 5 million (compact crossovers). The other segment sells 60,000 cars. I love the A hatch segment. I love the GTI. I love the Golf R. I drive an e-Golf. But there is no debate in the world; it is a less profitable and significantly smaller segment. It is particularly hard to price in America compared to an A (segment) SUV. It is a whole different world. For us, it was a no-brainer."

Remember, the upcoming eighth-generation Golf will not be coming to the US, though there are two huge exceptions: the next-generation GTI and Golf R. Keogh reiterated just how important both are to the company's image, despite being fairly low volume.

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"We're still going to rock 'n' roll and get behind those cars. The most profitable and successful and fantastic car we have is the Golf R. Zero debate. It attracts an audience that's authentic and cool and pure Volkswagen. GTI is the most famous brand we have," Keogh further explained. "I view Volkswagen in three fronts, or clusters if you will: One, you have to play the game in America with the volume segment. We're doing that now with Tiguan, Atlas, and Jetta. Second, succeed in electrification. Third, are soul vehicles. They represent Volkswagen full stop. Whether it's the Golf R, GTI, or upcoming ID. Buzz. Although these segments are small, they're important."

Yes, the ID. Buzz, in production form, will be coming to the US. VW already acknowledges it will be fairly low volume, but as Keogh mentioned, it's an image/soul model alongside the GTI and Golf R. But for America, the ID.3 will sit this one out.

As for future EVs, Keogh is bullish. "I think the product we will have in terms of range, in terms of being an all-around great EV will surpass customer demands. Will I miss the e-Golf? Absolutely. It's my company car."

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