The new Volkswagen boss is not sure whether a ninth Golf generation will see the light of day. The development of environmental regulations and coexistence with the ID.3 therefore put the famous compact in a delicate position.
Between the arrival of the future environmental standard Euro 7, which promises to be extremely strict, and the accelerated advance of electrification due to the thermal standstill planned for 2035 on the new home market in the European Union (two sources of high costs for manufacturers), petrol and diesel cars , even electrified ones, are caught in a vise that could kill many of them before the end of this decade. However, some iconic models that have been commercially viable for many years are in the hot seat. In this context Thomas Schäfer, who has just taken over the management of the Volkswagen brand, is already considering not renewing the Golf after the eighth and current generation.
— Daniel Zwick (@drzberlin) July 21, 2022
“We have to assess the relevance of developing a new vehicle that doesn’t stay in the catalog for seven or eight years (classic commercial cycle of a car generation, editor’s note). It’s extremely expensive. In twelve months we will know more“, the Volkswagen boss would have explained, commented our German colleagues from Die Welt. Wolfsburg wants to complete its work on the restyling of the current model before seriously considering the question of a Golf 9.
The ID.3 as a replacement for the Golf?
The sales balance between the Volkswagen Golf and ID.3 over the next few months could seal the future of the compact introduced in 1974. Whether the manufacturer plans to stop burning in Europe between 2033 and 2035 could be the question to know which of these two models will permanently replace the other: the electric Golf or the new ID.3 generations. Because it’s a fratricidal competition between these two cars that’s taking shape. Even if the Golf is still at the top of new car sales in Europe, its registration numbers are falling with the market. In 2021, just over 205,000 Golfs were sold in the old continent, compared to just over 500,000 in 2018 and over 400,000 in 2019. “It’s not about market share, it’s about profitability. In the past, we also offered niche products with the goal of becoming the largest car manufacturer in the world. Today it is about making the system less complex,” explained Thomas Schäfer. And to add: “To do this, we need basic models that work very well, like the Beetle or the Golf.” But exactly, at its market launch, the ID.3 was presented as a new Volkswagen icon based on these two classics – will it follow them?