According to its sales director Christian Dahlheim, the Volkswagen Group has continued its “global electric offensive at full speed”. That’s according to a press release on sales in the third quarter of this year, and in fact, all-electric car sales of all VW brands have more than doubled from the same period a year ago. Despite the growth, the German group is still not able to come close to Tesla.
VW gap to Tesla increased in Q3
After the start of the electric car offensive with the VW ID.3 as the first model on the new group platform MEB, there was talk of overtaking Tesla with it, the company has recently shown itself to be more modest again. Group boss Herbert Diess first warned internally of the superior productivity at Tesla and then even publicly informed that its CEO Elon Musk had spoken to the participants at a VW executive meeting via video.
The figures for the third quarter and thus the course of the year 2021 so far show that Volkswagen actually has to become faster in order to catch up with Tesla when it comes to electric cars. With according to the announcement Group-wide 122,000 pure electric car sales in Q3, the growth compared to the same quarter of the previous year was 109 percent, and unlike in the two previous quarters, they were also well above the sales of plug-in hybrids of around 75,000 units. But in Q3 the Volkswagen Group still only sold a little more than half as many all-electric cars as Tesla with its previously reported record of 241,300 deliveries.
It comes as no surprise that Volkswagen still has some catching up to do with Tesla when it comes to electric cars. But in fact the gap compared to the second quarter has actually widened again. In Q2, Tesla delivered 201,250 Model 3, Model Y and Model S, while the VW Group said it sold 110,991 cars only with electric drives. So Volkswagen came to 55 percent of the Tesla number, while in Q3 it was just over 50 percent. In the entire year to date from 2021, the German group had 293,100 pure electric cars compared to 627,350 for Tesla, i.e. just under 47 percent.
Taycan electric car in front of a Porsche 911
The most important region for Volkswagen in the first nine months of 2021 was Europe, where the electric car market share exceeded that of Tesla at 26 percent. In the USA, the group brands from Audi to VW only sold 27,300 purely electric cars and, according to the announcement, achieved second position with an 8 percent market share. In China, VW had sold 47,200 vehicles entirely without combustion engines by the end of September and is now on the way to achieving the target of 80,000-100,000 for the year as a whole.
Volkswagen achieved the highest sales of 72,700 in the year to date with the VW ID.4 designed as a global car, followed by the more compact ID.3 (see photo above), which has recently been available not only in Europe but also in China. With 36,100 units, Audis e-tron contributed the model with the third highest electrical sales. The fourth highest sales figure in the VW group was recorded by the Porsche Taycan with 28,600 units. At least the internal competition at Volkswagen seems to be working: For the first time, more units of the electric car were sold worldwide than the classic Porsche 911.