VW's I.D. Buzz and I.D. Crozz Electric Cars to Be Made in the U.S., Report Says
They're the two I.D. electric models that best fit American tastes.
Volkswagen will build two electric cars in the United States, Hinrich Woebcken, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said in an interview with Autocar. The magazine reported that the two models will be production versions of the I.D. Buzz and I.D. Crozz concepts, part of a family of electric cars based on the new MEB architecture. But a Volkswagen spokesperson described references to U.S. production of the Buzz and Crozz as "speculation."
The I.D. Crozz and I.D. Buzz have already been confirmed for production in 2020 and 2022, respectively. The Crozz is a small crossover, while the Buzz is a retro van inspired by the classic Volkswagen Type 2, better known as the Microbus. VW has other new electric cars planned, but these two will lead the German automaker's electrification push in the U.S.
"For strong product momentum, they need to be produced in the U.S.A.," Woebcken told Autocar, in reference to electric cars. "It's not possible to come into a high-volume scenario with imported cars. We want to localize electric mobility in the U.S." While the Crozz and Buzz will be sold worldwide, Woebcken said models sold in the U.S. will be "Americanized" for this market.
Attaining a larger share of the U.S. market has long been a major goal of Volkswagen, but the automaker only recently began tailoring its products specifically to this market. The current-generation Passat, introduced in 2011, was the first such effort. But VW's plans were undone by the shift toward SUVs and the revelation of the automaker's diesel-emissions cheating.
With a diesel settlement reached and Atlas crossovers pouring out of Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tennessee factory, the automaker appears ready for another attempt at growing its U.S. market share. VW won't say whether the I.D. electric cars will be built in Chattanooga or at another, new, facility, but the choice of the Buzz and Crozz would show the company is more in tune with American buyers' tastes than before.
In addition to the Buzz and Crozz, Volkswagen is planning production versions of the I.D. hatchback and I.D. Vizzion sedan concepts. Unlike some of its rivals, VW says it's still committed to sedans and hatchbacks, but these models will likely be a tougher sell in the U.S. than the Crozz crossover or the nostalgic Buzz. The I.D. and I.D. Vizzion may be sold here, but in smaller quantities as imports.
The I.D. models are just the start of a major electrification push. Volkswagen plans to offer an all-electric or hybrid powertrain in every model across all of its brands—everything from Skoda to Bugatti—by 2030. That includes 50 all-electric models by 2025.
Update: A Volkswagen spokesperson described the Autocar reference to U.S. production of the I.D. Buzz and I.D. Crozz as "speculation," and would not confirm any specifics regarding U.S. production of electric cars.