This VW Golf generation may be the last, says VW brand CEO

The current Volkswagen Golf could be the final model, according to the VW brand boss, who said rising emissions standards and costs could propel the Golf to extinction.

Volkswagen brand CEO Thomas Schaefer revealed the news to Germany hives popping up, and added that the VW Group sees internal combustion engines as cost-effective in the medium term. Schaefer says raising Euro 7 emissions standards would make all ICEs about $3,000 to $5,000 more expensive. It will sting the most in the economy segment where the Golf competes, which has prompted VW to backtrack on its certainty that the next generation of Golf will be motor1,

“With a smaller car, these additional costs can hardly be offset. So entry-level mobility with a combustion engine would be significantly more expensive,” Schaefer said. Regarding a potential, upcoming ninth-generation Golf, he said: “We’ll have to see if it’s worth developing a new vehicle that doesn’t last a full seven or eight years.”

VW is reportedly unsure whether to commit to the Mk.9 Golf after a mid-cycle refresh of the current Mk.8, which should eliminate the model by the end of 2020. Until then, the EU’s 2035 ICE sales ban will be on the horizon, as are regional sanctions likely to take effect soon. Any reduction in the Mk.9’s lifespan would worsen its business case, which apparently has yet to be determined. “We’ll know more in 12 months,” Schaefer said.

By the time the Mk.9 arrives, VW aims to have smaller EVs on the market for around the price of the Golf, if not less. In 2025, VW reportedly aims to roll out the ID.2 and another smaller EV, as well as derivatives for its other brands, such as the potentially US-bound Cupra. That doesn’t mean VW’s historic compact won’t have its place, but it’s starting to look like the Golf has run its course, and it will have to ask EVs to play.

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