VW USA CEO Explains Why the ID.3 Won’t Come to America

A quick look at the comments on our ID.3 reveal story shows that Volkswagen devotees who like the car are upset they won’t be able to buy it.

Unfortunately, despite the warm welcome the ID.3 is receiving in the press, Volkswagen USA president Scott Keogh told CarBuzz that he still thinks the company made the right call not importing it.

“Let’s be honest about the A hatch segment,” Keogh told CarBuzz at the Frankfurt auto show. “One segment sells 5 million (compact crossovers). The other segment sells 60,000 cars.”

Keogh, who has made a point of trying to keep enthusiasts onside—VW may, after all, only bring the GTI and the Golf R to America for the next generation—admits that although it was an easy business decision, it was a difficult emotional decision.

“I love the A hatch segment,” he told CarBuzz. “I love the GTI. I love the Golf R. I drive an e-Golf. But there is no debate in the world; it is a less profitable and significantly smaller segment. It is particularly hard to price in America compared to an A (segment) SUV. It is a whole different world. For us, it was a no-brainer.”

Indeed, VW is in lockstep with the rest of the automotive world, which has, over the last two years or so, prioritized electric crossovers over electric cars. Although the Bolt stands out as an exception, the e-tron, the i-Pace, Model X, the Mercedes EQC, and even the Kona EV all have the trappings of an SUV.

And Volkswagen, in particular, has been taught the lesson that SUVs are the way forward through sales. Since introducing the Atlas and the Tiguan, sales have steadily risen and those two vehicles make up more than half of all its sales this year.

So, unless the industry decides to change real fast, it looks like you’ll have to wait 25 years before you can own an ID.3 in the US.