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Volkswagen supply chain problems expected to be ‘minor issues’ in 2023: U.S. CEO

Volkswagen U.S. CEO Pablo Di Si sits down with Yahoo Finance's Pras Subramanian to discuss the automaker's forecasts for supply chain obstacles and EV growth in 2023.

Video transcript

SEANA SMITH: Volkswagen sales were down overall last year. But EV sales showing signs of improvement. They were up. Yahoo Finance senior autos reporter Pras Subramanian had the chance to speak with the US CEO of Volkswagen about this. And Pras, what did he have to say?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah, that's right. VW, the number two global automaker, reported a sales dip last year. But EV sales climbing higher up 26% year over year. One of their biggest EV sellers was the ID.4 SUV. I spoke to him about this, and about the sales of that EV, and how it was received by customers.

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PABLO DI SI: The reaction from the customer has been incredible, amazing. We have over 20,000 in orders, in back order for 2023. Just to give you a point of reference, Pras, in the Q4 of last year, the industry-- the EV industry grew by 55%. And we grew by 122%. So we more than doubled the performance of the industry in Q4. And the ID.4 has been our-- one of the main sellers within our product portfolio in Q4 last year.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: So VW makes that ID.4 at its massive Chattanooga plant here in the US, meaning it qualifies for IRA tax credits. However, it seems they could have sold more cars overall here and abroad if not for supply chain issues. Here's to see, again, on whether these things are getting any better.

PABLO DI SI: I think over the last two years, things have improved. Are they perfect? No. They're not. We still have some of the issues. But I think the issues have been reduced versus 2022, and particularly versus 2021. So I think it's not only semiconductors, but it's this entire supply chain whether there are different suppliers tier one, tier two, some of the logistic companies. But they're easing out. I think 2023 will have-- we'll still have some issues. But they will be minor issues compared to '22 and particularly 2021.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: So it's improving, it seems. And a good thing because 2023 will be a big year for VW with the ID.7 sedan coming out later this year, and the ID. Buzz, that quirky EV microbus, coming out in 2024.

DAVE BRIGGS: So that primarily, I think, you may have just answered this question. But the EV models in the next year or so, what's their plan ahead?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: I mean, so big picture. They want to have 25 EVs out by 2030. I mean, that's a significant amount of model. I mean, they only have nine cars I believe on sale in the US right now. So imagine 25 from now until then 25 new EVs coming out. So kind of flood the market there with the number of these cars, sedans, SUVs, even that, so the microbus, that fun little microbus that we've known VW for many years to do so.

It should be interesting to see how they actually attack the US. I mean, this is a huge automaker, number two in the world, behind only Toyota. So it's funny. Because VW is so far. They're really pushing hard. But Toyota hasn't been really pushing that far at all right now for EVs.

DAVE BRIGGS: 25 models. They're the anti-Tesla I guess in that regard, huh? Product diversification. Pras, good stuff. Thank you, man.