VW North America CEO issues warning about price gouging for upcoming ID. Buzz
Volkswagen recently announced that a long-wheelbase version of the retro-inspired ID. Buzz minibus would make its way to US shores in the very near future. Shortly after the announcement, in an interview with Automotive News, VW America's CEO Pablo Di Si had some choice words for dealers looking to price gouge customers on the ID. Buzz.
Di Si recognises the state of the EV market at the moment, acknowledging that there needs to be a strategy in place to deal with overwhelming pre-orders and demand, but he is determined to not make VW customers suffer as a result of the increased demand.
We cannot make a mistake [with] this vehicle. With respect to the customer, let's discuss it. We have a good relationship with the [dealer] network. We cannot have markups.
The ID. Buzz notably does not qualify for US tax incentives, which means unchecked dealer markups could push the price into unreasonable territory, costing Volkswagen a lot of sales for its highly-anticipated electric minivan. Di Si recognises that time is running out to implement a system that deals with high demand in a way that's fair to both consumers and dealers.
We need to find a fair way ... for the consumer and the dealer — there's no overpricing, that the system doesn't crash. We have, I would say, another three to five months to figure it out. We don't have the solution yet.
Rivals like Tesla and Ford are leaning more and more on online sales, clamping down on dealer markups and fees. These strategies could be received as hostile towards dealers, and Volkswagen seems to want to maintain a positive relationship with its dealership network rather than cutting it out entirely.