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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Many of us are reading posts here on this forum on Chinese ID4s and it made me interested to do some research.

Some interesting facts about China made ID4s
  • Range of 500+km (310+miles). I assume its RWD and lacks a lot of features and components to reduce the wait and increase the range. Other possibility is its just advertised range no where close to real world like Tesla.
  • Starting price under 30k USD. Because of lots of unsold cars they are offered good discount. I am not sure but may be Government rebates are on top of this.
  • Instead of CCS they use Chinese GB/T standard. They come with 2 ports one for slow charging and other for fast dc charging. Currently there is no reliable way to convert it to CCS like we convert Tesla port to CCS with TeslaTap kind of adapters.

I was wondering why there are so many people buying grey market ID4s while on the other hand we cant even buy it officially. Seems like in China every manufacturer have to produce 10-20% (I was not able to find exact number but somewhere in this range) of their cars as EV. VW has 2 factories in China, their gas models are very popular there and obviously they have to make a lot of EVs too, way more than their demand in China. Because of extreme competition and Chinese cheaper value local brand offerings ID4 is not that popular there, so they have a lot of Unsold cars and they end up in grey market in Middle eastern countries where people buy it because of its way cheaper price compared to EU/NA ID4 models as well as Tesla, without thinking about warranties and lack of support for updates / cell phone networks / charging infrastructures.

I think it may be because of their import restrictions, their political connections and some other factors VW is not selling their cars into Middle eastern region but I think they should consider selling those extra cars to these countries with CCS plug and their local cellphone network support officially. I will not be interested in buying China made car but for those who are willing to get one. As just before May, only 1 factory was supplying ID4 to whole Europe and North America vs 2 just for 1 country.
 

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I've read conflicting reports on VW's success to date with the ID.4 in China. A quick google indicates that ID.4 sales in China have increased substantially recently. This may be spin, but there's probably some truth to it.

China is VW's largest market. I wouldn't count them out in selling EVs in China yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've read conflicting reports on VW's success to date with the ID.4 in China. A quick google indicates that ID.4 sales in China have increased substantially recently. This may be spin, but there's probably some truth to it.

China is VW's largest market. I wouldn't count them out in selling EVs in China yet.
I am not arguing too much over if VW EVs are a big hit or not in China but I feel like they are not selling all what they are building, they have to build a certain number of EVs even if they don't want to because of government restrictions.

Even though in Europe and NA ID4 is hit, its not 20% of VW production in these markets. So IMO 20% is still a huge number. VW sells around 2 Million cars in China, 20% of that is 400k which is a huge number and if they are selling all 400k and people are waiting for those car for months like us, then grey market ID4s does not make any sense.
 

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I am not arguing too much over if VW EVs are a big hit or not in China but I feel like they are not selling all what they are building, they have to build a certain number of EVs even if they don't want to because of government restrictions.

Even though in Europe and NA ID4 is hit, its not 20% of VW production in these markets. So IMO 20% is still a huge number. VW sells around 2 Million cars in China, 20% of that is 400k which is a huge number and if they are selling all 400k and people are waiting for those car for months like us, then grey market ID4s does not make any sense.
I have mentioned this before on this forum, but it is pretty clear that most incumbent automakers are going to struggle given my understanding of the current Chinese NEV market.

They are going to struggle because I think Chinese NEV consumers are looking for extreme levels of in-car "connectivity technology" which I feel strongly grates against established safety-critical systems dogma at incumbent automakers.

Cars are not smartphones. If safety is any priority at all, cars can never be smartphones. But Chinese NEV consumers want a smartphone on wheels.

I have a colleague that understands Mandrin so, once and a while, I get some nuggets about the Chinese NEV market from Weibo and other places.

As a safety-critical systems engineer myself, I am not liking what I am hearing. At all.

There is also the somewhat classic "elephant in the room" here between Tesla, NIO and XPeng (and possibly BYD?) of offering a product that is "self-driving" or "autonomous" but is it actually anything but.

NIO decorates their vehicle with a myriad of cameras, Lidar sensors and radars and slaps an "autonomous driving" label on it.

Looks cool. Sounds cool.

But structurally unsafe and a total misrepresentation as far as I can tell, but one can see how VW would be extremely hesistant to go there. Startups are pressured to throw caution to the wind becuase they have to desperately boost sales quickly and few, if any, automotive startups have safety-critical systems engineering, operational or historical experience.

Will VW (and all other incumbent automkers) be eventually forced to play this extremely deadly game in China in order to move metal?

I think so and I think a very dark future awaits both the Chinese and US BEV markets.

Sincerely,

Adam J. Cook
 

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I continue to believe that there will at some point be a MASSIVE class action against Tesla re AutoPilot. AutoPilot is pretty close to a scam.
I cannot speak to what Tesla promised in terms of capablities around Autopilot, but the "turning your personal car into a robotaxi to generate revenue for you while you are asleep" promise that Tesla made around "Full Self Driving" is definately not possible.

That much is clear.

And Musk has been flip-flopping around on that promise ever since he made it which only speaks to Musk's/Tesla's own uncertainty around their ability to fulfill it.

Sincerely,

Adam J. Cook
 

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They are going to struggle because I think Chinese NEV consumers are looking for extreme levels of in-car "connectivity technology" which I feel strongly grates against established safety-critical systems dogma at incumbent automakers.

Cars are not smartphones. If safety is any priority at all, cars can never be smartphones. But Chinese NEV consumers want a smartphone on wheels.
A story that has stuck with me (and I think I heard it much earlier than the 2014 publication of the article I've linked below) is that McDonalds did well in China because consumers felt the brand brought a certain level of food safety and quality that was missing from their everyday lives.

How absurdly ironic! (older me remembers younger me thinking)

If true, why doesn't that cultural mentality permeate to this day and translate to automobile safety and quality?

But admittedly I don't know enough to call Chinese automobiles unsafe, only what I've read on the internet. :rolleyes:

 

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But admittedly I don't know enough to call Chinese automobiles unsafe, only what I've read on the internet. :rolleyes:
From what I have gathered over the past year or so, here are my specific concerns (probably in order from most concerning to least):

1. Flimsy, ill-defined and unvalidated "self-driving" ADS products coupled with highly questionable marketing; and
2. Application-side or "HMI-side" software complexity that makes systems validation challenging if not impossible. Social media apps, web browsers, video games and/or unvalidated, third-party code ("app stores") have enormous questions around them in terms of critical HMI stability/uptime and overall Human Factors safety; and
3. Questionable automotive-grade certifications on vehicle components.

Sincerely,

Adam J. Cook
 

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Although Musk is a salesman first and Engineer second, I think some of the problem is that the gap between SAE Level 2 and 3 is HUGE, allowing shysters to make things up and bend definitions to allow them to do anything. I really wish there was more steps in there in between 2 & 3. Maybe 2a, 2b, 2c?
 

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Although Musk is a salesman first and Engineer second, I think some of the problem is that the gap between SAE Level 2 and 3 is HUGE, allowing shysters to make things up and bend definitions to allow them to do anything.
For what it is worth, I described the technical gap between Level 2 and Level 3 to someone that asked on Reddit a few days ago here.

The main issue that I see is that these startup EV makers seemingly feel like they must project a future in which "if you buy our car today, someday soon you can sleep in the backseat on your way to work".

That is a big product differentiator to laypeople.

Not possible. Not practical. And I think these startups are straight up lying to make sales.

I would not care so much if it was just lying to consumers as many companies do that and that is civil matter for the FTC (in the US), but the public is put in danger by these lies.

I really wish there was more steps in there in between 2 & 3. Maybe 2a, 2b, 2c?
The big issue, as I see it, is that "the levels" (expressed in the J3016 standard) were never intended to be conveyed as a marketing device to consumers. The J3016 standard was simply a basic taxonomy of automated system capabilities. The J3016 standard contains no Human Factors components, and it is not a safety standard.

Instead, there should have been a regulator-mandated and standardized table of system preconditions to familiarize the consumer with system limitations.

Limitations should have been the communication tool. And all of that should have been coupled with an upfront, strong regulatory process (vehicle systems type certifications).

Limitations keep the system safe, but limitations do not move metal.

Instead, what we have is automakers and ADS manufacturers constructing their own nomenclature on capabilities - Level 2+, Level 2++, "Full Self Driving", "Autonomous Driving".

Sincerely,

Adam J. Cook
 

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I have heard some rumors like vw is selling China made ID4 to NA. Of course with NA firmware and legally modified. Cannot verify just provide some info.
 

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Rumors? First I've heard that one.

VW is very open about where their cars come from. And there needs to be logistics to get them here. And they need to clear customs. Different VIN for country of manufacturer. Different specs other than software.

There appear to be some Chinese made ID.4s being grey market exported to other countries, based on user posts asking for troubleshooting assistance. But not the US.

I don't think this even reaches the level of rumor. More like deliberate misinformation.
 

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I have heard some rumors like vw is selling China made ID4 to NA. Of course with NA firmware and legally modified. Cannot verify just provide some info.
The new 2022 ID.4’s are now 90% German made up from around 40% in the 2021’s. China’s contribution to the rest of the world appears to be dwindling.
 

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I have heard some rumors like vw is selling China made ID4 to NA. Of course with NA firmware and legally modified. Cannot verify just provide some info.
We have had no posts from anyone in NA with a Chinese ID.4. Some folks from the Mid-East have posted here with problems but I haven't heard of those vehicles anywhere else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have heard some rumors like vw is selling China made ID4 to NA. Of course with NA firmware and legally modified. Cannot verify just provide some info.
I highly doubt that, they are mainly shipped to Middle eastern countries.
  • Chinese ID4 have different connectors for charging with different charging protocol
  • People in Middle eastern countries buy ID4 from VW dealer still they can not update firmware, so I dont think VW will do it for just a few US customers
  • Specs are completely different i.e. Refrigerant for AC, Center console, Head and Tail lights so its jot just FW upgrade
  • Some people in US are skeptical about getting US made car from Chattanooga, do you think by any means they will accept China made car?
 

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I highly doubt that, they are mainly shipped to Middle eastern countries.
  • Chinese ID4 have different connectors for charging with different charging protocol
  • People in Middle eastern countries buy ID4 from VW dealer still they can not update firmware, so I dont think VW will do it for just a few US customers
  • Specs are completely different i.e. Refrigerant for AC, Center console, Head and Tail lights so its jot just FW upgrade
  • Some people in US are skeptical about getting US made car from Chattanooga, do you think by any means they will accept China made car?
Yeah I doubt it as well, just share some info I heard from a VW dealer guy.
But why peoples are 'skeptical' about US made IDs? Just curious though. Cuz people still prefer 'Made in Germany'?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah I doubt it as well, just share some info I heard from a VW dealer guy.
But why peoples are 'skeptical' about US made IDs? Just curious though. Cuz people still prefer 'Made in Germany'?
I think yes, many prefer made in Germany. Though not true, people have that perception that German made car will have better workmanship. I have seen here in Canada, people brag about their car was made in Germany and its superior quality. You may see some people on this forum complain that they ordered car from Germany and want one from Germany and not US made. To be honest I don't mind either

I have that perception towards china made cars, even though not true and so many of my things from Laptop to Cell phones are made in China, I still feel China made car may lack quality craftmanship
 

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I personally never found a difference between my German made turbocharged 1.8T engine and the Mexican made ones. Someone told me it is just a bunch of German folks standing around with clipboards staring at robots working anyway. I’m sure @Plant Peon can verify that. PP is someone like this watching your every move?

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