Automotive & Business: What were the results of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in the first 10 months of the year?
Xavier Chardon: We are seeing a decline in volumes but we are holding up well compared to the market as a whole. Our market share increased by 0.4 points to reach 4.5% with a high order portfolio, over a year. The Transporter remains number one in sales at 5,500 units and the Crafter consolidates its positions. The year will therefore be positive although, without production control, it could be better. And for the months to come, we have a lot of bets on ID. Buzz, which will take us to another dimension and help us balance our energy mix, which until now is still very diesel-intensive.
A&E: How have the various shortages and cost increases affected the catalog?
XC. : We noticed a fairly significant increase in prices, up to 5% cumulatively since the beginning of the year. However, this did not slow down the orders. Part of this price increase is offset by our good residual value, while most of our sales are made through leasing. Also, we prefer the feeling that the inflationary market and the extension of delivery times have made customers expect renewals. Our order portfolio did not decrease compared to the same period last year. As for delivery times, it takes 10 months on average for a Transporter, 8 months for a Crafter and 8 to 10 months for a Caddy.
“The ID. Buzz will have a shorter delay in the VU range. But until when? It probably won’t last long. »
A&E: What will be the delivery times for ID. Buzz Cargo?
XC. : We can deliver the vehicle quickly because we are part of priority markets. There will also be some vehicles in stock so, depending on needs and requests, the vehicle may be available immediately. Orders will open on November 21 and the first delivery to the network should arrive in February 2023. Paradoxically, the ID. Buzz will have a shorter delay in the VU range. But until when? It probably won’t last long.
A&E: What do you see as the strength of ID. Buzz Cargo for professionals?
XC. : First of all, this is the only van based on a 100% electric platform, as our competitors’ vehicles are thermal derivatives. This gives us several advantages: better positioning of the batteries, a turning radius similar to a Golf, a payload of about 650 kg and a range of 416 kilometers. Reasonable features and incredible comfort. The ID. Buzz Cargo is derived from the passenger car version, it contains 100% of the comfort elements (multiple USB sockets for recharging work items, infotainment, autonomous driving, etc.), with excellent soundproofing part of the van. Our “over the air” software also makes it possible to own a vehicle that will improve and guarantee good residual values. Finally, the last point is the design. This vehicle, bringing an icon to life, enjoys great sympathy. This is why the ID. Buzz Cargo is a rewarding work tool.
A&E: Compared to the competition (Peugeot e-Expert, Mercedes-Benz eVito, etc.), the loading capacity and the payload are lower, but the autonomy is greater. What strategy does this option take?
XC. : The ID payload. Buzz Cargo can load two euro pallets. So, yes, it’s not suitable for all configurations, I’m thinking of specific use on construction sites, but the vehicle has a 77 kWh battery. We could have increased the payload by lowering the battery capacity but at the expense of autonomy.
We believe here that we have reached a good compromise in a vehicle that is particularly suited to courier service, parcel transport and last-mile power delivery. In addition, the charging capacity is high, up to 170 kWh for 200 kilometers in 10 minutes. Thus we respond to the constraints of professionals and the restriction of regulations, such as Low Emission Zones.
“Autonomy is a brand choice. »
A&E: Right now, the ID. Buzz Cargo is only offered in one version. Can the scope be expanded?
XC. : Yes quite a bit. We have a “Flex Cab” version in the project phase that will allow between 2 and 5 seats and a usable volume that changes according to configuration. We should see this version arrive on the French market in early 2024. In Hanover, a refrigerator version was also shown, but this has not been confirmed. Finally, we are preparing a complete range of body cars and, for the passenger car, a long version with 6 to 7 seats will arrive at the end of 2023.
A&E: What are your goals for the coming year?
XC: We believe that ID. Buzz will allow us to reach 25,000 utilities throughout the year. This new offer will increase the attractiveness of our brand for a market share that should be between 5 and 6% to allow us to gain visibility and exist. This is the potential that Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles should have in the French market.