German car dealer Gregory Brudny is facing legal challenges from Volkswagen (VW) for importing 22 Volkswagen ID.6 electric vehicles from China, sparking a major legal dispute.
Background: Brudny, seeking to capitalize on lower prices in China, legally imported the ID.6s from VW-FAW. The move was prompted by the significant cost difference between Chinese and German electric vehicles, driven by intense competition in the Chinese market.
Legal Channels: Brudny asserts that he followed legal procedures, purchasing the vehicles through official channels from China’s VW-FAW, aiming to offer his customers affordable electric vehicles amid rising prices in Germany.
Cost Disparities: While Germany experiences a surge in the cost of new electric vehicles, the Chinese market sees substantial discounts. For instance, the VW ID.3 sold for as low as €16,000 in China compared to its starting price of €40,000 in Germany.
Vehicle Details: The ID.6, an extended-wheelbase version of the ID.4, designed for the Chinese market, offers three rows of seats and accommodates up to seven people. Brudny believed that after some modifications, these vehicles could be sold in Germany.
VW’s Intervention: Upon Brudny’s attempt to advertise and sell the imported vehicles, VW obtained a temporary injunction, arguing that Chinese-made models lack certain legal requirements, such as an automatic emergency call system.
Legal Battle: Despite Brudny’s legal approvals from German authorities, VW seeks the seizure and destruction of the vehicles. The automaker argues that Chinese-made models differ from those sold in Europe, raising concerns about safety features.
Dealer’s Defense: Brudny, facing high storage costs, contends that VW aims to set an example, deterring others from importing Chinese-made vehicles. He insists on the legality of the import and approval from German authorities, challenging VW’s efforts to destroy the vehicles.
Uncertain Future: While Brudny appeals the ruling, the fate of the ID.6s hangs in the balance. The legal precedent, as seen in a 2021 case involving Hyundai, suggests challenges for Brudny in the ongoing legal battle.