Some MQB-based models will soon get the axe.
From the Touareg R plug-in hybrid to the Atlas Cross Sport, and from the upcoming ID.4 to the Nivus, Volkswagen has something for everyone in its SUV lineup. Literally - small, big, fast, efficient, open-top, seven-seat, and many more crossovers are part of the German’s brand global portfolio these days. It turns out that, as surprising as it may sound, Volkswagen might have finally reached the desired number of SUVs.
In a recent interview with Autocar, Volkswagen’s R&D boss, Frank Welsch, admitted the Wolfsburg-based automaker is very close to reaching the limit of how many SUVs it needs. While his words don’t seem to firmly confirm there will be no new VW-branded crossovers, they imply the marque has almost reached the saturation point.
Gallery: 2021 VW Touareg R
“I don’t think [the growth in SUVs] is over, but we have enough,” Welsch told the British publication. “We do not need 10 more. We have to take care. We must have a portfolio that is efficient as a volume player. If we have too many models and sell 30,000 or 40,000 units a year, we can’t make money. We will focus on the cars that can be successful.”
Currently, Volkswagen is one of the brands that have the largest global portfolios, which includes no less than 30 models around the world. Welsch told Autocar the company will retire some of the MQB-based cars “step by step” but he didn’t go in detail which models will be discontinued.
We know, however, that the first to go will be the Sharan and Touran minivans, which will be replaced by a new crossover-inspired Variosport we caught as a test mule late 2018.
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In total, considering all the models that will be launched and those that will be discontinued, the number of models VW has won’t change dramatically, Welsch confirmed. “I don’t think we’ll have more cars than we have today. For SUVs, we are represented in every segment.”