“The move follows just three months after Volkswagen scaled back production and made layoffs at their Emden facility. At their German plant in Zwickau, Volkswagen is letting go of nearly 300 employees, given the waning interest in electric vehicles.
The Zwickau facility, exclusively dedicated to electric vehicle production, is seeing layoffs, and another 2,000 temporary employees there face potential job loss.
A dip in electric vehicle popularity can be attributed to rising inflation and a decrease in government incentives. German media outlet DPA initially reported these layoffs, highlighting Volkswagen’s anticipation of a surge in more affordable electric vehicles from China.
Although there’s been a robust demand for electric vehicles in recent years, there’s growing concern that high costs might deter potential buyers.
Data indicates that battery-operated vehicles are approximately £10,000 pricier than their petrol counterparts, and the price difference between electric charging and petrol refuelling has decreased.
Consumers were once informed that the higher initial expenses for electric vehicles would be offset by the savings from charging costs. Yet, the recent conflict sparked by Russia’s incursion into Ukraine resulted in a spike in electricity rates.
To address this, UK automotive manufacturers are advocating for more affordable public charging stations, especially for those without home charging facilities.
Volkswagen, when reached out for a statement, had earlier reduced its electric vehicle production at one of its primary facilities due to diminished interest leading to sales not meeting projections.
In June, the company halted electric model production for six weeks at its Emden facility in northwest Germany, intending to lay off 20% of its workforce involved in their assembly.
Volkswagen attributes this declining consumer enthusiasm to reduced European subsidies and increased inflation. The electric vehicle demand is presently 30% below Volkswagen’s anticipations.
Manfred Wulff, the Emden plant’s chief, remarked, “The electric vehicle sector is witnessing significant customer hesitation.”
To address pricing apprehensions, Volkswagen introduced the ID. 2all prototype in March, priced under £22,000 (€25,000) and boasting a 280-mile range. Moreover, Volkswagen’s CEO, Thomas Schäfer, is poised to release an even more affordable model, priced below £17,500.
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