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Tesla Crashes German Party; VW Says Work Harder, BMW Plays Premium Card

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at November 11, 2021


Model 3 topped the European electric car sales charts in September and beat out of sight the challenge from Germany over the first nine months, and this provoked a wary reaction from Volkswagen, conceding that Elon Musk’s company was much more efficient, while BMW cast aspersions about Tesla quality and heritage.

Tesla sold 24,574 Model 3s in September to take the number 1 spot, way ahead of 8,199 VW ID.3s and 4,310 ID.4s, according to data from Schmidt Automotive Research.

For the first 9 months, the Model 3 led with just under 100,000 sales compared with the 2nd placed VW ID3 at close to 52,000 and 44,600 little Renault Zoes. There were no BMW electric cars in either top 10 list. BMW will up its battery electric vehicle (BEV) threat in 2022 when its recently launched i4 sedan and iX SUV hit the market.

Tesla’s threat will jump a few notches too when its German factory begins making Model Y SUVs for the German and European market.

Volkswagen group CEO Herbert Diess, currently under pressure from the company’s union which objects to his plans to make VW more profitable, told an employee meeting last week that Tesla at its Brandenburg, Germany, factory will make 90 cars an hour for 10 hours a day. This compares with VW’s Zwickau plant which makes the ID.3 and ID.4 and takes 30 hours to make one, although he hoped to cut this to 20 hours next year, still twice as inefficient as Tesla.

The union had been angered by reports Diess had said VW had 30,000 excess workers in Germany. Its German workforce totals 290,000.

VW said Tuesday it will build a new factory near to its Wolfsburg HQ for its next generation BEV called Trinity, expected to launch by 2026 at the latest, and hopes to reduce the manufacturing time per car to 10 hours.

Tesla also outsold VW’s Golf in September, which is mainly conventionally powered and is usually Europe’s biggest selling car, bar none.

BMW CEO Oliver Zipse, who earlier this year doubted Tesla could retain its lead in BEVs as competition tightened, tried a different tack Wednesday.

“Where we differ is our standard on quality and reliability. We have different aspirations on customer satisfaction. Tesla isn’t quite part of the premium segment. They are growing very strongly via price reductions. We could not do that since you have got to last the distance,” Zipse said in an interview in the business newspaper Handelsblatt, according to Automotive News Europe. The interview offered no evidence on standards or reliability.      

The Tesla factory is currently cranking up production of the Model Y which will go on sale in 2022. In the New Year, at least BMW won’t be able to play the not-made-in-Germany card.


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