Start of sales: headed for the future
Start of sales: headed for the future
A huge moment for Chief Sales Officer Jürgen Stackmann: The new ID.3 (near-production-ready prototype) celebrates its official premiere in front of its future drivers. Find out about the goals that Volkswagen has set itself for the years ahead.
The ID.3 (near-production-ready prototype) is the first model in the fully electric ID. family. We interview Jürgen Stackmann to find out why electric vehicles are now the ideal choice for many drivers and what role the long-term communications strategy has to play.
What inspired you the most when developing the ID.3?
The ID.3 is an important milestone for our brand; it marks the start of a new age of electric mobility for everyone. We worked hard on this car and are delighted that the ID.3 will soon be the first member of our ID. model family, which offers local emissions-free driving, to hit roads around the world. Following the Beetle and Golf, the ID.3 opens the third major chapter for Volkswagen. The unique thing about the ID.3 is that is perfectly embodies the concept of an affordable car for everyone. We are making electric mobility suitable for everyday use and attainable for everyone. Presenting the ID.3 to the world at the IAA in Frankfurt was a really emotional moment for the entire team.
At what point did you realise that electric mobility was about to make a breakthrough for everyone?
Electric mobility is not really a new area for Volkswagen. After all, we already launched our first fully electric model, the e‑up! (e‑up!: power consumption in kWh/100 km: 12.9–12.7 (combined); CO2 emissions in g/km: 0; efficiency class: A+) all the way back in 2013. To date, there have been three main reasons why customers have decided not to opt for an electric car: price, range and poorly developed charging infrastructure. We have now solved the first two problems with the ID.3: it will be available for less than 30,000 euros, the price of a similar Golf. Once the environmental bonus offered by the government and ourselves has been deducted, it may even soon be available for as little as 24,000 euros. The ranges stretch between 330 and 550 kilometres. And a lot of work is currently going into the charging infrastructure as well. Working with other manufacturers, we set up the joint venture IONITY at the end of last year, creating a network of 400 quick-charging stations across Europe. What’s more, we are also expanding the charging options available at our own sites and at our dealerships, and entering into cooperations with partners like supermarkets and furniture stores so that sufficient infrastructure will be available everywhere as quickly as possible. So, you can see: electric mobility isn’t just a vision any more, it’s already a reality.
We are starting with the ID.3 in the compact class and transferring the technology upwards - and downwards.Jürgen StackmannMember of the Board of Management Volkswagen Passenger Cars, with responsibilty for 'Sales, Marketing and After Sales'
In detail: which technology do you find most fascinating in the new ID.3?
The ID.3 brings together the best bits of all our models: as big as a Golf on the outside, almost like a Passat on the inside, the turning circle of an up!, the acceleration of a GTI, all while offering local emissions-free driving. We are starting with the ID.3 in the Golf class, which we created in the first place, and will then gradually expand the ID. model family both upwards and downwards. One impressive aspect is the vast array of exceptionally useful and helpful technology in these cars. Some of these, like the new Augmented Reality head-up display, will only be available in the ID. family to begin with. Two other great features are the option to interact with the vehicle using your voice and the Smart Light in the cockpit. It’s a bit reminiscent of K.I.T.T., the car from the 1980s TV show Knight Rider.
What was the biggest challenge you faced over the entire course of the project?
Right from the outset, we were clear that the ID.3 wouldn’t just be any new model for our brand; it was always going to mark the start of a fundamental change. So we involved the markets and retail sector into the development phase at a very early stage; after all, such an important realignment of the brand calls for everyone to do their bit. We also launched customer communications much earlier than normal to convince as many people as possible: now you can. We created an extensive strategy, in which our new brand design and cooperation with DFB and UEFA also play an important role. They express the brand’s new attitude and allow us to showcase the company as fresher and more approachable than ever before with a brand new visual language and new logo.
What will you take away from this project personally?
We set ourselves some very ambitious goals at the start of this project. We want to become the global leader for electric mobility This presented us with a wide range of huge challenges. Regardless of whether we are talking about the technology or the sales side of it: many areas were completely uncharted territory for us as a brand. And of course, you sometimes have to ask yourself whether everything worked out as planned. This is where the quality of our teams really shines through. Everyone is clear: this has to work. We don’t get a second attempt. This generated a huge amount of momentum and many people are really excelling. There are new creative ways of approaching things; in many cases, deep-rooted behaviours are being tossed aside and the brand has literally been recharged with a new lease of energy. It’s an incredible experience and I’d like to thank the entire team for their part.
Would the ID.3 be better for your two daughters or your two sons?
The unique thing about the ID.3 is its individuality: fresh colours, great bi-colour options, sporty designs or more lifestyle-inspired looks, cool wheels and plenty of other options for configuring the ID.3 according to your personal tastes. All of this speaks to all my kids in equal measure, as does the vehicle’s sustainability. However, I imagine that their configurations would look pretty different.