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Volkswagen's new electric car panned by Germany's leading test publication

FILE PHOTO: Employees clean a new car after a ceremony marking start of the production of a new electric Volkswagen model ID.3 in Zwickau, Germany, November 4, 2019. REUTERS/Matthias Rietschel/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said Volkswagen's VOWG_p.DE new electric car, the ID.3, had fallen short of the carmaker's usual standards of fit and finish, and had a limited operating range, when it reviewed the car ahead of its launch.

“The inner side of the hood looks like it was painted with a spray can,” the publication said, lamenting the absence of Volkswagen’s trademark build quality in a pre-production model they were testing in this week’s edition.

The criticism comes as Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess relinquished day-to-day management responsibility for the VW brand, following criticism by the company’s labor leaders over his management style.

Uneven panel gaps, an infotainment system which takes a long time to fire up, and a navigation system which fails to work were other features which the publication help up for criticism.

The powertrain and ride were good, but the operating range was only 359 kilometers, the publication said.

Volkswagen’s labour chief criticised the company’s electric car programme for falling behind schedule. VW in March rejected the criticism but admitted that the cars needed last minute improvements.

Volkswagen Chief Executive Herbert Diess last week drove the Tesla Model Y and praised the vehicle.

“This car is for us in many aspects (not in all!) a reference: user experience, updatability, driving features, performance of the top of the range models, charging network, range,” Diess said.

The VW brand plans to build 1.5 million electric cars by 2025. Volkswagen Group, whose brands also include Porsche, Audi, Skoda, Bentley and Bugatti, will launch 75 electric cars by 2029 and be capable of building 26 million vehicles.

Reporting by Edward Taylor, editing by Thomas Escritt

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