It’s official – VW are not planning another combustion engine Golf. In April of 2023, Brand Chief of VW Thomas Schaefer confirmed that the legendary Golf model is no more (in a combustion engine model, at least).
But what’s behind this shift, given the fact that the Golf was once Europe’s most popular car?
Why is VW discontinuing the Golf?
Currently, the Golf Mark (MK)8 model is currently in production, and is VW’s first model to feature an e-TSI engine with mild-hybrid technology. One more series of updates is expected next year, but beyond that, the MK9 Golf will be fully electric.
As such, if you’ve always wanted to own a VW Golf, now is the time to secure a car loan quote online and get behind the wheel.
The Golf’s DNA has always been about affordability, enjoyment and a (very) respectable driving experience. The hope is that this character will translate into the all-electric MK9, which is anticipated for market release by 2026 or 2027.
This move by VW signals an end to the much-loved combustion engine Golf. Sales of the VW Golf reached their peak in the UK in 2002, when 85,100 new registrations were made. Since then, however, sales have declined, with a number of factors responsible.
VW are leaders in terms of their electrification goals. By 2030, the German firm wants 55% of sales in North America, 50% of global sales, and 80% of sales in Europe to be fully electric – a rise from the initial target of 70% electrification first announced in 2021. The launch of ten new all-electric models by 2026 marks the seriousness with which VW are taking these promises.
These figures reflect the company’s increasing prioritisation of the electric vehicle market, as well as their alignment with the EU’s policy to ban the sale of all non-zero emission vehicles by 2035. A continued line of combustion engine Golfs would be inconsistent with this wider brand strategy, as well as shifting economic and consumer climates and priorities.
Beyond the increased consumer demand for electric vehicles, however, there’s also the exorbitant rise in production costs for combustion engine-based models. More stringent Euro 7 emission regulations demand more complex exhaust systems, and the electric vehicle market is always improving. Although EVs are currently more expensive to manufacture, the pendulum is shifting, with EVs likely to become more profitable for manufacturers in the long run. In the meantime, petrol and diesel alternatives are only rising in cost on the consumer side as a result of increased production expense.
To be clear, the Golf isn’t disappearing entirely – Schaefer specified that a fully-electric future model will bear the brand name, so Golf enthusiasts needn’t panic. That said, this model isn’t coming out anytime soon – the projection is for a 2028 release date.
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