VW ID.4 significantly loses in comparison with Tesla Model Y, but the company prefers to hide and not discuss it with dealers or customers. Leaked internal documents that compare the two models indicate troubling moves that seek to hide a competitor's advantage even for internal discussion.
Comparison of cars that are on the market or which are about to start production is a must for manufacturers. This takes place within companies in order to understand the competitive advantages or disadvantages of their product. In this matter, it is very important to be extremely honest, because a frank comparison determines how good and popular the product will be.
Alex Voigt/Twitter from Elektroauto-News has published a leaked Volkswagen internal document in which the company is trying to deceive its dealers and customers by overestimating its ID.4, and clearly underestimating its competitors. The document is in French, however Alex can give us some understanding of how VW is positioning its product. In his article, he pays special attention to how VW compares its ID. 4 with Tesla Model Y.
The advantages that VW gives the ID.4 1st Edition over the Model Y:
- government incentives
- vehicle handling
- VW sales network
- availability in 2020
Let's take a closer look at these reported advantages to see if they are true.
Price (for France)
ID.4 is available for €47,950 and ID.4 Max for €58,950. These prices take into account only the basic configuration, and for additional functions and comfort, you will have to pay extra.
Model Y already contains almost all the features, specifications, and additions in the basic version, and costs €63,000. A fully configured ID.4 with all other costs will have roughly the same price point, but offer less functionality. For example, it won't have Autopilot, an extensive infotainment system, or better energy efficiency, and much more.
At the same time, if we start comparing the cost of ID.4 and Model Y, for example, in the US or China, then the difference in price will become even more noticeable. Here it becomes clear that VW simply will not be able to compete in price with Tesla in the US or China market.
While VW highlights this as an advantage, customers should pay attention that government incentives may vary from country to country. Also, it should be kept in mind that, if the difference in incentives for the purchase of these two cars really exists, then it is not really critically large. And with Model Y (even in the basic version), the customer receives significantly more than in ID.4 (with the full package).
While the ID.3/4 is praised for its handling, this also applies to the Model 3/Y. Both cars are agile and pleasant to drive. Therefore, handling cannot be called an advantage of ID.4 over Model Y.
VW sales network
This advantage is not really an advantage. For example, the whole world saw how Tesla's online sales model turned out to be extremely effective in 2020. At the same time, VW lost about 25% of its market share over the same period. In order to purchase a Tesla, you will need to spend only a few minutes, and you can do it directly from home. To buy a VW you will have to visit a dealership, and deal with all the hassles that come along with that--which is more of a structural disadvantage than an advantage.
Availability in 2020
Model Y has already been on sale in the US in 2020, and in China starting this month, January 2021. VW, on the other hand, postponed delivery of the ID.4 in Europe from the end of 2020 to Q1 2021. So, availability in 2020 is no longer true, and dealerships defrauded customers by claiming otherwise.
The first Model Ys will start rolling out of Giga Berlin in mid-2021. And it is possible that the delivery of Model Y from China to Europe could begin even earlier. Therefore, the notion that the ID.4 may be available for sales in Europe several months earlier than the Model Y, and in fact, maybe later, is hardly a serious advantage. And if we compare the availability of these two cars globally, then Model Y has been available for almost one year, while ID.4 has not.
Disadvantages of ID.4, from VW's point of view, versus Model Y:
- engine power and all-wheel drive
- D.C. charging
- charging infrastructure
But if VW were frank, the list would be much longer:
- OTA software updates
- top speed
The ability to recognize the weaknesses of your product in front of your competitors is essential to create a better product. Until VW accepts this truth, they are unlikely to achieve global success.
© 2020, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.