Dealership: Coronavirus has slowed production

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Traffic. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Increased demand for microchips in the coronavirus crisis and broken delivery chains have seriously hampered car factories' capacity and availability of new cars, Volkswagen dealer Moller Auto says.

The situation has created fertile soil for electric vehicles that are increasingly talked about in dealerships and on car forums.

Eero Kalm, head of the corporate clients department at Volkswagen dealer Moller Auto, said that the coronavirus hiked demand for consumer electronics, medical equipment etc. that quickly caused a microchip shortage.

"The car industry did not initially know what effect the virus would have, which is why there were no great stockpiles. This has led to a situation where vehicle production volumes have slowed all over the world," Kalm said.

Curiously, the electric vehicles segment has benefited from this development.

"Many manufacturers are preferring electric vehicles to traditional ones. This means that new chips first go to factories producing electric vehicles," Moller Auto's representative said.

Faster production of EVs is also pushed by manufacturers' promises to offer more environmentally friendly vehicles.

"But not just that – the virus has affected consumer behavior and created interest in environmentally friendly vehicles. People simply have more time to get up to speed on EVs by browsing dealers' websites and car forums, talking it over with other enthusiasts and sharing experiences and emotions," Kalm said.

"There are more people interested in electric vehicles than there are available cars and models," he added. "While the so-called average person still seldom buys an EV in Estonia, it is incredible how many enthusiasts are out there, especially among younger customers," Kalm pointed out, adding that Volkswagen's first fully electric SUV the ID.4 has received a lot of attention since arriving in the showroom a few days ago.

Moller Auto's representative said that the so-called fun factor is one reason people might prefer an EV. "Practically speaking and considering its high list price, an EV starts to make financial sense for people who drive 30,000-40,000 kilometers a year."

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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