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New e-brand Scout: Volkswagen with a new focus on the US

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Status: 05/13/2022 2:04 PM

Volkswagen could sell more cars, but the group is under pressure from all sides. That’s why the group wants to focus on the US market with a new brand.

Volkswagen’s car group suffered another serious slump in deliveries in April. Wolfsburg delivered just 516,500 cars worldwide, thus 37.8 percent less than in the same month last year. The decline in China, the group’s most important sales market, was particularly sharp, with sales halving.

On the other hand, the team is currently still overburdened Semiconductor shortagein China is also slowing Govt zero covid policy with local lockdown. But deliveries also fell sharply in other important markets. Sales fell the most in Central and Eastern Europe at -55.5 percent, in North America by about a quarter and about 29 percent in the home market in Western Europe. After the first four months, the Volkswagen Group was able to deliver 2.41 million cars, trucks and buses to customers, 26 percent less than the previous year.

All brands are affected

With the exception of luxury sports car maker Lamborghini, all of the group’s brands recorded significant sales declines. Passenger cars of the main brand Volkswagen are down 40 percent, in Czech sister Skoda it is 37 percent less than a year ago, and in VW’s Spanish subsidiary Seat, the shortage is 32 percent. At Audi, deliveries fell 40 percent, at the sports car subsidiary and Porsche Pearl’s returns were minus 16 percent.

In light of the huge problems in the industry and especially at Volkswagen, observers do not expect a rapid improvement. On the contrary, experts fear that production of electric cars in particular will remain weak in the long run, given that important primary products such as lithium, cobalt and nickel have been destroyed by the war in Ukraine. not only rarely, But it has also become much more expensive.

Departure from China to the United States

The heavy dependence on the Chinese market, where more than three million cars were sold last year, along with the growing competition there from aggressive suppliers such as BYD (Make Your Dreams), China FAW (First Automotive Works) or Geely, a major shareholder in Mercedes-Benz , makes Volkswagen look more towards the US market again.

After real successes like the Volkswagen Beetle, which dates back decades, and blatant failures like the diesel scandal, the Wolfsburg-based company in the US now wants to attack it with a new strategy in light of just over half a year ago. One million cars were sold in 2021, apparently based on pickup trucks. However, Volkswagen does not currently offer this type of car, which is especially popular in the USA.

Brand new Scout to fill the gap

From 2026, the group wants to follow up with its own electric car brand. The plan is to launch an all-electric pickup truck and SUV under the Scout name in the United States. This will be a kind of revival of the SUV of the former car, truck and agricultural machinery manufacturer International Harvester from Chicago, which fell into the hands of the Wolfsburg-based company in the context of the acquisition of the American supplier Navistar by Volkswagen subsidiary Traton. The first drawings are already there. In the first phase, 100 million euros will be invested in the project, according to people close to the company.

The search for a way to gain a foothold in the pick-up market and also to achieve a ten percent market share target has been going on for some time. With the Amarok, VW light commercial vehicles like this model have had their range for many years – but they are not sold in the USA of all places. One reason was the strange import hurdle by which Washington paid trade barriers for exported chicken with higher import duties for certain types of cars, the so-called “chicken tax.”

As a result, local suppliers such as General Motors and Ford have dominated the local pickup truck business. Meanwhile, too US electric car manufacturers such as Tesla or Rivian Active in partition. The Ford F-150 example shows that there is a market for electric pickups. Demand for the electric version of the top-selling car model in the United States has grown for decades recently to the point that Ford has had to enforce a demand freeze. Apparently, talk has spread about the advantages that such a model can offer in a country that suffers from blackouts more than Germany. In this way, the model’s energy storage unit, if fully charged, can also be used to supply homes with electricity for several days.

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