“We’re not sold out because we can’t build cars… we’re really sold out for electric cars because demand is higher than expected,” CEO Herbert Diess told the Financial Times on Monday at his automotive conference.
Last week, the company, which owns several brands, including Porsche and Audi, said it a backlog of 300,000 EV orders in Western Europe alone.
Customers placing orders now in some markets can expect their cars next year, a company spokesperson confirmed to CNN Business.
Volkswagen Group sold more than 99,000 electric vehicles worldwide in the first quarter, an increase of 65% compared to the same period last year. Among the most popular cars were the ID.3 and ID.4 models and the Audi e-tron.
Volkswagen is still lagging behind Tesla
which delivered more than three times as many EVs in the same period.
Delivery problems are decreasing
It may have a chance later this year to make up for some lost ground as the chip supply improves. Supply chain disruptions
that have devastated the auto industry over the past year have begun to decline, and Volkswagen Group has a “very good supply of semiconductors” as of the third quarter, Diess said.
, a competitor of Volkswagen Group, also believes the worst of the chip shortage is behind it. CEO Jim Rowan told the FT on Monday that he thinks his company will be “really solid in terms of chip delivery” from Q2.
The war in Ukraine
has exacerbated supply problems for the automotive sector, leading to shortages of critical parts for all vehicles.
But Diess said the company, which has several parts suppliers in Ukraine, has still managed to get about 90% of its supply volumes from those factories.
And despite strict corona measures,
the demand for electric vehicles in China is proving resilient. Diess said sales of the Volkswagen Group’s electric vehicles in the world’s largest car market had quadrupled in the first quarter.
BYD, a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, reported a 313% jump in sales
for its electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in April compared to last year. The Warren Buffett-backed company is better insulated than others from supply chain disruptions because it makes its own batteries and car chips. Rivals Li Auto and Nio both reported a drop in deliveries in April.
“I am optimistic that, even under these really difficult circumstances with Covid in China, the war in Ukraine and still some restrictions on semiconductors, 2022 could still be a good year for us and the rest of the industry,” said Diess.
† Laura He contributed to the reporting.