The highly anticipated production version of Volkswagen’s ID Buzz concept — a retro-styled take on the VW Microbus — won’t make it to U.S. showrooms in 2022 as originally promised.
Scott Keogh, CEO of Volkswagen of America, said VW’s battery-electric homage to its vintage microbuses — which has excited potential buyers since it was first shown in 2017 — will be late.
“I wish it was coming next year,” Keogh told Automotive News Publisher Jason Stein during a conversation during the Automotive News Shift Mobility Forum, part of this year’s all-virtual CES technology expo.
“It’s not going to come quite as soon as that; it’s going to be a little bit later than that.”
The delay is primarily because of the build plan for the vehicles at VW’s Hanover, Germany, plant, which will also build a smaller commercial electric van for Europe along with the Buzz. Both of those vehicles will go on sale first in Germany and Europe.
Since it was first shown four years ago, company officials have said that the ID Buzz is the most popular concept EV developed by Volkswagen for its flexible MEB electric vehicle platform. However, the automaker began a global EV push last year with an MEB-based hatchback, the ID3, followed by an MEB-based compact crossover, the ID4, to target the largest global segments — and where it has fans worldwide with the Golf and Tiguan.
Unlike the ID3 and ID4, which debuted in 2020 and are in production in Zwickau, Germany, the ID Buzz will be built at the Hanover commercial-vehicle plant, which is being retooled. The microbus EV is expected to go on sale in Germany in 2022 alongside the commercial EV variant in Europe.
Since the ID Buzz was first shown, VW dealers in the U.S. have repeatedly told Automotive News that they receive regular phone calls from customers asking when it will be available. Keogh said that, despite the delayed U.S. arrival, consumers who have been waiting since 2017 are likely to continue to wait.
“I think what the consumer can expect, I think is just pure, magic Volkswagen,” Keogh said. “You drive it, the world is going to be talking.”
Keogh said he gets regular texts from VW and non-VW dealers about the ID Buzz, including from AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson, asking when it will arrive in showrooms.
“The reaction’s been huge, and we just got to get it here,” Keogh said. “It’s as simple as that.”