The anticipation for the Volkswagen ID Buzz is building among dealers — inside and outside the automaker's retail network — ahead of the Microbus-inspired battery electric's U.S. launch in 2023, according to the region's top executive.
“I think what the consumer can expect, I think is just pure, magic Volkswagen,” Scott Keogh, CEO of Volkswagen of America, told Automotive News Publisher Jason Stein in a conversation during the Automotive News Shift Mobility Forum, part of this year’s all-virtual CES technology expo. “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.”
When ID Buzz production was first confirmed by VW CEO Herbert Diess at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, he and the automaker told the audience to expect the van in 2022.
Keogh said he would love to have the ID Buzz in U.S. showrooms next year, but as has been previously reported, dealers and consumers will have to wait for it until 2023.
“I wish it was coming next year,” Keogh said. “It’s not going to come quite as soon as that; it’s going to be a little bit later than that.”
Although VW targeted North American consumers with the ID Buzz, the automaker’s plan has always called for it to be built in VW's Hanover, Germany, plant, which will also build a smaller commercial electric van for Europe along with the ID 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.
EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly characterized the ID Buzz’s U.S. arrival as delayed until 2023. Volkswagen had initially planned a 2022 launch when production was confirmed in 2017; the revised plan for a 2023 debut had been reported previously.