Volkswagen is on a mission to cut costs through trimming redundant or slow-selling models from its lineup. First there was the death of the old and slow-selling Eos, now comes word the three-door Polo and Beetle could get cut.
German publication Spiegel reported Friday VW would cut the three-door version of the next-generation Polo, due for 2017, to save about 200 million euros as the VW brand looks to make about 5 billion euros worth of cuts.
Sales of three-door hatchbacks has fallen considerably in recent years, even though the Polo is the fourth on the best-sellers list in Europe, according to Autonews Europe.
This, apparently, also puts the Beetle on ice. Introduced in 2011, the current version has not made the same splash the New Beetle did back in 1998 – let alone anything close to the splash the original Type 1 did. As with the Polo, the Beetle isn’t on the new MQB structure as the Golf and European-market Passat, and VW is clearly unsure whether to migrate the model over.
While the death of another mainstream three-door hatch seems inevitable as the market shifts, the Beetle seems like a missed opportunity for VW. Iconic models like the Mini hatch and Fiat 500 are still successful for their respective manufacturers, yet VW seemed to phone it in with the most recent Beetle, thanks to its Jetta underpinnings and inefficient packaging.
Or maybe the retro Beetle is a fashion statement that really has hung around too long.