Volkswagen AG's Chief Financial Officer Arno Antlitz revealed this week that the group notes strong demand for electric cars, which allows it to increase not only the scale but also profitability.
According to Antlitz (via Bloomberg), some of the Volkswagen Group's battery-electric cars (BEVs) are sold out until 2023, while in the case of other models, which are still available, there are often long wait times.
Volkswagen Group, which besides the Volkswagen brand, includes also Audi, Porsche, Skoda and SEAT, sees that electric car profitability improves faster than originally expected. The main reason for that is high demand.
“We see better scale, we see better margins, we see high customer demand. Originally we thought it takes two to three years until we see the parity of ICE and battery-electric vehicles.”
In 2021, the group sold about 762,400 plug-in electric vehicles (up 81% year-over-year), including 452,900 all-electric (up 95.5% year-over-year).
That's good news. But there is also some bad news, like rising battery raw material prices. Volkswagen Group might be forced to increase EV prices:
“Raw materials are clearly a headwind for us. There might be also the time when we need to pass on some of the increases to the market.”
This issue comes on top of the shortage of semiconductors and supply chain issues, related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to Colin Langan, an auto analyst at Wells Fargo (via Automotive News), because of the war, car production in Europe might decrease by 700,000 in the first half of 2022.
The main problem is that there are 17 wire-harness facilities in Ukraine (only Romania and Morocco have more in the region) - as we understand, they are mostly offline right now. According to experts, it might take at least 2-3 months to start additional production of the wire harnesses in other countries.
With such problems, we are not surprised that new electric cars are getting sold out until 2023. The queues were already substantial even before the war.