Increased demand for crossovers and SUVs, combined with the stricter emission rules imposed in Europe, could force Volkswagen to axe the Up! in the market.
An official decision has yet to be made, but it appears that the future is not so bright for the city car, reports Autocar, citing the company’s chief, Herbert Diess, who spoke on the subject at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
“We still see a future for that segment, but we have to weigh up how much profit contribution, and positive CO2 effects we get from [the Up!]”, Diess said. On small cars, it’s very hard to bring [the emissions] below 93g or 95g, without adding a lot of cost. It becomes complicated. The electric Up! makes much more sense.”
While the Volkswagen Up! is under threat of being retired in Europe, the vehicle remains popular in other markets, such as Brazil, where the automaker is localizing its assembly.
Sister brand Skoda could follow a similar path with their Citigo, which shares its nuts and bolts with the VW Up!, and continues to “play a very strong role in emerging markets”, as the Czech company’s CEO, Bernhard Maier, commented.
“In those countries, this is the segment that is growing fastest, and for that reason, I see a lot of opportunity in the case”, said Maier. “It is also a car that could easily be electrified, which is something we’re investigating. From our perspective, I don’t see the end of production coming.”