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Marque slashes EV sales forecast

Volkswagen NZ boss says axeing of clean car discount has stalled progress on electrification of line-up.
Posted on 15 February, 2024
Marque slashes EV sales forecast

Volkswagen New Zealand has cut its expectations for annual sales of electric vehicles (EVs) and is revising how many it brings into the country following the demise of the clean car discount (CCD).

Chanelle McDonald, general manager for passenger vehicles, says the feebates scheme helped boost demand for zero-emitters but registrations of such models has dropped since the CCD was axed at the end of 2023.

She adds the company had forecast 30 per cent of its sales would be EVs last year but that target has been slashed to just 10 per cent for 2024, reports Stuff.

Volkswagen NZ launched the marque’s all-electric ID.4 and ID.5 to the domestic market only months before the coalition government announced its timeframe for ditching the CCD.

As a result, the marque offered discounts on a number of EVs to clear excess stock it had hoped would still be eligible for rebates this year.

McDonald, pictured, explains New Zealand also stopped ordering new ID.4s and ID.5s when National won the general election as the company prepared itself for the feebates programme to end.

“It’s a shame,” she tells Stuff. “We had a really clear mission where we as manufacturers wanted to go hard with electrification here in New Zealand, and it definitely feels that has stalled a wee bit with this recent decision to remove the rebate.”

She predicts the dip in EV sales following the CCD’s chop will last until the end of March, but a more “normalised and stable market” will take shape from April.

Losses on EV sales are expected to be balanced by growth in registrations of models that attracted fees under the CCD. McDonald notes Volkswagen NZ sold more units of its Tiguan AllSpace SUV in January than it had done in the previous six months combined.