Back in March 2021, Volkswagen’s top brass stated that it had every intention of producing next generations of the Golf, the Passat and the Tiguan with gas engines. But that was then, and this is now, apparently – at least in the case of the Golf.
The Volkswagen reins have been held since April of this year by former Skoda boss Thomas Schäfer, and the executive told German outlet Welt last week that in fact no decision has been made yet regarding the future of the Golf.
The company’s reluctance to commit to developing a ninth generation of the model stems from concerns about rising costs associated with developing new combustion-engine models, especially given current and incoming EU regulations governing ICE vehicles and their emissions. CEO Schäfer estimates that the price of cars with engines running on gasoline will rise by between between €3,000 and €5,000 ($3,900 and $6,500 CAD) because of those new standards. In his view, that means the disappearance of bargain-priced cars in Europe. Already, it's expected that other small vehicles produced in Europe under the umbrealla of the Volkswagen Group - the Audi A1 and Q2 and the VW Polo, for instance - are likely to disappear.
The auto giant has already confirmed that it is working on a mid-cycle revision for the current Golf (available in North America only in R and GTI formats, recall), but after that, all bets are off. Any new model to come would likely have its natural 7-to-8-year life cycle cut short by the total ban on ICE vehicles set to hit Europe in 2035 (and possibly earlier in some countries), making it even harder to justify pouring resources into developing a Generation 9.
For now, VW has not closed the door on producing a next Golf; Thomas Schäfer told Welt that a decision is going to come in the next 12 months.