Is VW Retiring The Up! City Car From Europe?

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.”

PHOTO GALLERY

  • Up and out!

    I have to admit I have not seen many NEW UP!s compared to Polos and Golfs.
    Think the main problem is they are expensive
    (except for the base model which no one buys but VW is proud to boast, “Starting from £….”)

    Despite VW’s expensive pricing policy, the VW Group is faring quite poorly when it comes to annual profits

    • Vassilis

      Depends on where do you live. They’re very popular in Greece.

  • Obsequious Lickspittle

    Yes, I hear they’re doing a run-out model called the GiveUp!

    • fabri99

      Can’t believe you brought this Up! again.

    • smartacus

      Fer Real! You can’t make this stuff Up!

      • alexxx

        Guys guys,please shut Up!

        • smartacus

          okay okay
          kiss and make Up!

  • fabri99

    I love how every article about this car becomes a phrasal verbs showdown.

    • Obsequious Lickspittle

      Yes! Did you see the version they planned to make for those of a “questionable” nature?
      S’UP?

      • smartacus

        aww snap, that’s messed Up!

      • fabri99

        There’s a version with no seats too… the Stand Up!

        • alexxx

          I think vw really fxxked up with Up!

          • fabri99

            Oh shut Up! What do you know about managing a car company?

          • alexxx

            You are right…it’s not Up! to me to criticize

  • smartacus
  • Ilbirs

    There’s a problem with this model but relating to VW: the brand’s obsession to underpin all its lineup with MQB. As the up! isn’t MQB-able and rides atop the NSF, it became the sole model of the passenger car portfolio to not use this highly flexible base, the other ones being in the end of its lifecycle (Beetle, Jetta VI and Scirocco III) or commercial vehicles (Caddy, T6 and Crafter). The problem is that the size interval of MQB doesn’t include something by the size of the up!, but NSF’s one could encompass something by the size of a Polo, as can be seen by examining the stillborn Taigun SUV, the model that would be the other NSF:

    https://cdn.riastatic.com/photos/ria/news_text/5/574/57499/57499.jpg

    Compare these dimensions to the ones seen in the previous Polo:

    https://www.the-blueprints.com/modules/vectordrawings/preview-wm/2009_volkswagen_polo_v_5-door.jpg

    They have the same wheelbase (2.47 m or 97.2 in.), but the Taigun is 12 cm (4.7 in.) shorter than this Polo generation due to smaller overhangs. If a new Polo was NSF underpinned instead of something on the MQB, it could retain the same 3.97 m (156.3 in.) length but being roomier than the previous gen because maybe the same 2.56 m (100.8 in.) wheelbase of the MQB one could be applied. What we see now is that the new Polo not only passes the 4-meter mark (remember India) but also is too wide for a compact, marking 1.75 m (68.9 in.) against the 1.68 m (66.1 in.) of the previous one, remembering that VW managed to cut 3 cm (1.18 in.) in this measure comparing to what we see in the current-gen Ibiza (1.78 m or 70.1 in.), another model that is too wide for a compact, as this is almost the width of a Golf. Why MQB-A0 is generating too wide compacts? Maybe we should look at the MQB part of the codename instead of the A0 and consider that in an use that falls on the lower dimensional extreme of this base, the cars originated from it suffers from compromises that are intrinsic from the base and wouldn’t be seen if underpinned by a larger version of the NSF.
    For now in this wave of cars underpinned by highly flexible architectures, VW is the one that went further, as the MQB can houses anything from a Polo to an Atlas. Other automakers used a smaller size interval for their bases, as can be seen in PSA with its EMP2 underpinning only two main segments while the future smaller models will have to wait for the CMP to be readied. The same happens to Volvo, that has its SPA that recently spawned its smaller model for now, the XC60, while something below this will be a task for the CMA, debuting now in Frankfurt with the XC40 release. The only size interval that will be close to MQB’s one in this trend is the one Toyota will adopt for its TNGA, that we know by rumors that will give birth to the next-gen Yaris. We must remember that size means tax in Japan and if a car is wider than 1.70 m (66.9 in.) this means falling into the higher rating category, popularly known there as “Class 3” due to the number of the plate. Considering this context, maybe the TNGA was made to be able to spawn something on the “Class 5” (other popular name that refers to the second lowest tax rate there, losing only to the kei cars.

    • MarketAndChurch

      Very thoughtful breakdown, thanks for writing this.

  • “Increased demand for crossovers and SUVs, combined with the stricter emission rules”
    AN OXYMORON?

  • Vassilis

    If they make a solid electric version with plenty of range it may be good enough. It’s a lovely car and the GTI should be sweet to drive.