Volkswagen will stop taking orders for several plug-in hybrid models. This is because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine destabilises its supply chain just as chip troubles were beginning to ease. Orders for plug-in hybrid versions of the Golf, Tiguan, Passat, Arteon, and Touareg models will be halted in Germany until further notice. Also, the delivery of already placed orders may not happen this year.
Their plug-in hybrids are highly sought after, leading to high order backlog that they are working through. Due to this demand and limitations of semiconductors, they cannot take any further orders. An uncertain regulatory environment towards plug-in hybrids also influenced the decision. Volkswagen sales of plug-in hybrids, seen by some as a transition technology to fully-electric cars, grew 61% last year to 309,500 vehicles.
But their green credentials are coming under growing scrutiny from environmental groups. The cars are worse polluters than once thought. It should not be treated equally to battery-electric vehicles. Volkswagen had already said that its order books were full but that ongoing chip supply shortages meant it would need to cut some night shifts at its main Wolfsburg plant. Chief Executive Herbert Diess said that he saw semiconductor supply issues easing and hoped to increase production by the second half. But, due to the current situation, Volkswagen has already announced temporary production halts at several factories in Germany and Poland. Also, an indefinite suspension of production in Russia.