Two future VW electric cars could be built in the U.S. for American buyers, according to a report Tuesday.
VW's North American CEO, Hinrich Woebcken, told British magazine Autocar that upcoming electric cars, which may include the ID Crozz and ID Buzz, would need to be built in the States "for strong product momentum."
“It’s not possible to come into a high-volume scenario with imported cars. We want to (localize) electric mobility in the US,” Woebcken told Autocar.
A VW spokesman didn't confirm the speculation.
The ID Crozz electric crossover SUV and the ID Buzz, the long-awaited successor to the VW Microbus, also could be "Americanized," according to the report. VW already builds the Passat and Atlas in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
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After years of selling niche products imported from Germany that were too expensive and too small to compete with big sellers in the U.S., VW began designing separate models for the U.S. market and building them in Tennessee.
Volkswagen ID Buzz Concept
The Passat, built in Tennessee for sale in the U.S. and China, is significantly larger than the Passat sold in Europe. The Atlas was designed specifically for the U.S. as the largest SUV VW has ever made. It is now sold in Britain, too.
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The company has had considerably more success selling the Passat and Atlas here since it designed the cars specifically for the U.S. Building them here makes it cost-effective, as well.
Now it seems VW may do the same for its electric vehicles. Building dedicated versions in the U.S. could allow VW to stretch the ID Crozz and ID Buzz to give them more room inside for American buyers, for example, though Woebcken did not specify how the U.S. models would be different.
The electric VW ID Crozz crossover vehicle is due out next year. Bus fans will have to wait until 2022 for the ID Buzz.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed speculation contained in media reports. A VW spokesman did not confirm what cars could be built in the U.S. or where they could be built.