Home » The ID.7 Delay Is More Proof That Volkswagen Needs The ID.Buzz To Succeed

The ID.7 Delay Is More Proof That Volkswagen Needs The ID.Buzz To Succeed

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As is often the case in the automotive industry, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to product delays. More details are coming to light as to why Volkswagen has put the North American launch of the ID.7 sedan on pause for the time being, and the overall story is starting to make more sense. The big reason for the shift? The Volkswagen ID.Buzz.

When the delay of the ID.7 sedan was announced, we reached out to Volkswagen for clarification. A representative responded, stating “The original plan was to launch the ID. Buzz and the ID. 7 at the same time later this year.  We have now reconsidered, and will put all of our energy into launching the ID. Buzz first, and will launch the ID. 7 afterwards,” adding that “We want to be sure to get each launch right, and splitting them from one another will greatly help us with this.”

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Translation: Volkswagen needs the ID.Buzz to succeed, and it’s throwing everything and the kitchen sink at the North American launch of that model. See, launching a car is hard. There are so many moving parts at play, and simply getting the vehicles to dealerships is already complicated enough.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz

One thing I hear time and time again from automakers bringing cars from overseas is that shipping is still a nightmare, and it’s a claim that checks out. Over the past few years, the roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) vehicle shipping market has seen rates boom, and Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International detailed some of the big numbers in a 2023 overview of the industry:

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Ro-ro vessels themselves are hot property and the prospects for the next 12 months are positive. After 10 years of relatively limited newbuild activity, demand has surged over the past 18 months with rates hitting record levels this year. Supply was so tight at the end of 2022 that NYK, Wallenius Wilhelmsen and Höegh Autoliners suspended spot bookings. Much of the demand came from the automotive sector. Semiconductor shortages that hindered vehicle manufacturing in 2021 and 2022 have been addressed and output surged. Moreover, the Chinese electric vehicle export market has continued to heat up.

In theory, Volkswagen has already signed long-term shipping contracts with its main ro-ro companies, and the ID.7 and the ID.Buzz are built in Germany, in plants roughly 160 miles apart from each other by road. If both models were to ship out of the same port, and shipping contracts are already settled, every ID.7 to make the boat would’ve meant an ID.Buzz that didn’t.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz

Oh, and then there are all the other moving parts to launching a new vehicle. We’re talking about regulatory bodies to satisfy; showroom decor to print and ship; ads to craft; digital parts catalog entries to fill; media drive events to plan; leasing residuals to establish … the works. If you were a titan of the automotive industry, would you rather share shipping capacity, federalization efforts, marketing, sales training, parts distribution, public relations, and all other key resources over a lifestyle vehicle and a sedan in a crossover-dominated market, or would you rather dedicate everything to a high-margin lifestyle vehicle with a proper waiting list?

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Volkswagen ID.Buzz

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The ID.Buzz is top priority for Volkswagen in North America, and given the substantial delay between European short-wheelbase sales and American long-wheelbase sales, the automaker can’t get hung up on any snags. The ID.7 is still coming at a later point in time, but it’s not the big man on campus right now.

(Photo credits: Volkswagen)

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Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
18 days ago

I would be throwing my wallet at a dealership if they planned to offer a Buzz California. An EV van I can drive my kids to school in, then plug in at an RV camp site on the weekend with a pop top and some fold flat seats? A little micro kitchen in there? Yes please.

I think EVs will make amazing campers / camper vans. You can run the HVAC all night off the battery! Plenty of power for lights, water pumps, induction cooktops, and whatever else. And silent to boot. No generator.

If you have a camper EV van, the charging stops aren’t even as much of a chore. Just stop around noon and cook some pasta while you’re charging up. No sweat.

Nick Fortes
Nick Fortes
19 days ago

This thing should have gotten the circular headlights seen on all the Amazon vans around here….and then it should have gotten an even larger VW emblem between them. Hell make the emblem light up like all their new stuff does now, but damn man, how they missed circular headlights is just beyond me.

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
19 days ago

As much as I want it to, I do not see this selling that well.

It’s too quirky. Americans are boring. I kind of want one, but, seems its going to be a bit pricey. I’ve been eyeing used MX-5s lately anyways.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
19 days ago

And yet, plenty of Americans are lining up to buy the Cybertruck which makes this thing look tame.

I predict plenty of Americans will buy the ID Buzz as long as it’s priced right.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
19 days ago

Narrator: It wasn’t priced right

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
19 days ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

Well that remains to be seen. But VW does have a history of greatly overpricing their vans in North America. I recall back in the early 2000s when they tried selling the updated Eurovan here… at double the price of typical Dodge Grand Caravan… justifying the “wishful thinking” MSRP with the usual “we are a premium brand” bullshit and with it being slightly bigger than average.

Naturally it was a flop because their pricing was completely disconnected from reality.

So based on VW’s own past, you might end up being right.

But I’m hoping it’s not the case this time as I’d like to see the proliferation of electric minivans.

Last edited 19 days ago by Manwich Sandwich
Swing_Axle
Swing_Axle
19 days ago

The current estimate of well north of $50k seems about $10k too high, imo.

Somewhere around $40-45k would sit nicely above the ID.3, accounting for its larger size, but not be so ridiculous so as to brush up against a fully tricked out SUV.

I hate to say it, but VW really needs to look at what has made MINI so successful, both in marketing and pricing. That’s the sort of audience VW needs to court in order to sell a quirky little car, again. I thought they’d had it figured out, after their success with the 2000’s-era New Beetle, but they took some very bad lessons from that — ie, oh noes, we need to stop appealing to the masses, because it might appeal to ~the wrong audience~ (in that case, women and freshly-minted teen drivers), too!

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
15 days ago

Yeah, because the ship for retro nostalgic VW Bus purchases sailed a decade or two ago. Now the wage earners want Terminator or MadMax or Back To The Future style stuff. Gen X vs Boomers. The CyberTruck IS more ridiculous and that’s the point. Doesn’t mean I LIKE it though.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
14 days ago

 because the ship for retro nostalgic VW Bus purchases sailed a decade or two ago”

No actually I think there are still plenty of people who would go for a non-angry and practical vehicle.

Consider as well that when this goes on sale, it will the the only fully electric minivan on the market. Essentially it has no direct competition.

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
14 days ago

I mean I hope you’re right. I just don’t see it. Yes, it’s the only electric minivan but that market has been shrinking for two decades. That’s the high level of my point; people still don’t want minivans. Do they really want the sacrifice of an EV (range and charging) in minivan form when minivan form is on the decline anyways? There are several, arguably better, EV SUVs for sale for less. Being scarce in a shrinking market doesn’t sound like a recipe for success to me.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
14 days ago

Well the other hope is that the minivan segment will stop being a shrinking segment.

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
14 days ago

The only way it will is if they put sliding doors on a Tahoe, which, would be pretty sweet actually.

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