Volkswagen Group has been very clear about its Group Strategy 2018. The most important aspect is VAG’s plan is to increase unit sales to more than 10 million vehicles per year globally by 2018. And the company did so last year, moving 10.14 million vehicles around the world.
But it’s not all spend, spend, spend for Europe’s biggest automaker. In order to keep “disciplined cost and investment management” and maximize profitability, the Group also vowed last year to cut $5.7 billion in total costs from its Volkswagen passenger car brand. Plus, with 100 new dealers earmarked for the U.S. by 2018, as well as several new crossover models to be introduced into its lineup, the automaker needs to reign in the spending. And if recent reports from German publication Spiegel are to be believed, we now have a partial idea of where VW plans to make the cuts. Suffice to say, if you’re a fan of small hatchbacks, you won’t like what you’re about to read.
The German publication says that if VW were to axe the 3-door Polo from the next-generation Polo family, it could save about 200 million euros (about $214 million dollars). VW would still retain the 5-door Polo, but shedding the version with two fewer doors would help ameliorate expenses. As popular as the Polo may be in Europe (the 4th best selling car last year), sales of the 3-door are low because it offers less practicality and for an additional 500 euros buyers get an extra set of doors. The next-gen Polo is due in 2018.
Here’s were it gets painful. If we take Spiegel at its word, VW may also stop producing the Beetle altogether. In fact, the publication says VW has already ceased development of the next-gen Beetle. The current version, a return to form in our eyes, was introduced in 2011. But for the time being, a fourth-generation model might not be in the cards.
We’ll leave you with a question: is it wise for VW to can the most iconic car in the world, and is it wise in considering to cut the 3-door Polo? Talk to us in the comments.