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VW News: VW May Be Cutting Most of Golf Lineup in US


Drew Dowdell

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Rumors are swirling that Volkswagen may be cutting most of the Golf lineup from the US market with the next generation of Golf.  The standard version of the Golf, e-Golf, Golf SportWagen, and Golf Alltrack would be dropped in the US while the GTI and Golf R continue on.  The e-Golf will be replaced by something in the ID lineup.

Looking at the sales numbers, it is easy to see why Volkswagen may make this move. Sales of the base Golf in 2018 numbered just 6,642, down 51% from the year prior.  GTI and Golf R combined sold more than triple that amount (20,152).  The one head-scratcher is the Golf Sportwagon, which sold nearly as many units (14,123) as the GTI (16,684), but if Volkswagen is looking to shed the econo-car image of the Golf and stick with just the hot-hatch image, then dropping the Sportwagen may make sense.

As the next generation of Golf hasn't actually been released yet, Volkswagen is declining to comment. 


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5 minutes ago, FAPTurbo said:

the current gti occupies the middle of some hellish venn diagram of basicness where its fanbase is split between vape-bros, urban professionals and hot to trot yoga chicks, and now I see gti’s everywhere. 

In Montreal, GTIs are still a young guy's fast and the furious dream.  Many millennial boys and men drive these. There are even some  car gals that drive them as well. And yes, I am talking about the current gen. And yes, there are car gals to speak of in Montreal.  Kinda cool if you ask me. 

The new Civic Si also follows this same path.  Toyobarus too. 

Edited by oldshurst442
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1 hour ago, oldshurst442 said:

In Montreal, GTIs are still a young guy's fast and the furious dream.  Many millennial boys and men drive these. There are even some  car gals that drive them as well. And yes, I am talking about the current gen. And yes, there are car gals to speak of in Montreal.  Kinda cool if you ask me. 

The new Civic Si also follows this same path.  Toyobarus too. 

GTIs also appeal to older enthusiasts as well... a buddy of mine in Denver after 20+ years of Jettas, just bought a Golf R.  he's 52.  He and his wife have a Q7 for family hauler duty also. 

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1 hour ago, Robert Hall said:

GTIs also appeal to older enthusiasts as well... a buddy of mine in Denver after 20+ years of Jettas, just bought a Golf R.  he's 52.  He and his wife have a Q7 for family hauler duty also. 

That Golf R is one heck of a performer. Its got all the characteristics  a car enthusiast craves for. 

A similar thing I see in Montreal,  many 50 year old males drive Audi A3s. 

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It is not that much of a drop from 6642 per year base Golfs that generate a profit down to (grabbing calculator) about 2500 cars per year that lose $3k per unit (projection for the ID hatchback found elsewhere).  It's a win-win situation for Volkswagen.  What could go wrong.

 

On the other side of the coin, with the demise of the Beetle and the base Golf (which has been all 4-door for a few years), maybe VW will start selling 2-door GTI in America again.

 

EDIT:  Just 776 e-Golfs were sold in the first half of the year in the U.S.   <== 2018.  Sorry, my "2500 cars per year" guess on ID hatch sales seems too optimistic.  Imagine that.

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57 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

The one I don't get is cancelling the long roof version. 

Could easily be switched back to "Jetta Sportwagen" by peeling off the taped-on badges and replacing them.

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2 minutes ago, ocnblu said:

Could easily be switched back to "Jetta Sportwagen" by peeling off the taped-on badges and replacing them.

I guess that's true. But from the spy shots, the golf looks to have a very different face from the new Jetta.

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Not sure how divergent they'll be going forward.  They could also just call it the VW Sportwagen, or the VW Alltrac, if the new one is based on a divergent Golf.

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3 hours ago, ocnblu said:

Could easily be switched back to "Jetta Sportwagen" by peeling off the taped-on badges and replacing them.

Cool, Jetta Sportwagen EV! I like it!

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20 hours ago, FAPTurbo said:

the current gti occupies the middle of some hellish venn diagram of basicness where its fanbase is split between vape-bros, urban professionals and hot to trot yoga chicks, and now I see gti’s everywhere. 

 

As a Mk7 GTI owner up until just a month ago, I really have to laugh at this and appreciate it's truthfulness. 🤣

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As for the topic, this is a stupid decision. As with most of VW's problems, they only have themselves to blame here.

 

The Golf doesn't sell for 2 reasons- there's almost never incentives- they lease like crap; and they have constantly decontented thim and slashed trim models.

Point one- A standard Golf lease with no money down or lease specials will run almost $400 a month after taxes. I've seen it too many times. Know what a Civic or Corolla with the same terms will lease for? $275-300. For what is such a cost conscious and frugal market, you can't compete if your car is $100-150 more a month to own.

Point two- When they had a full a model spread, and were doing models like the Special Edition in 2016, they had fair amount of demand. But ever since the Mk7 came out, they have taken away equipment/features every year, cancelled trims, and generally made the car look worse, and a worse value.

If they sold a Wolfsburg model with a bit more power (not GTI levels), some nicer equipment, and a better appearance, it'd have sold. Or an R Line model like other markets get. They should have made AWD an option. There's plenty they could have done. 

What's really stupid is that they are doing this at a time when numerous other brands are finding a business case for hatchbacks, and they are so established already. On top of that, they aren't bringing the the I.D. Hatchback here, so there is no replacement, they have no sub-Golf hatchbacks that could capture those buyers, and a compact crossover for the American market is still realistically 2 years away.

They can try to spin this however they want with sales trends, skewed data, market monitoring; or like everything else, blame it on Millenials all they want, but in the end, this is a textbook example of a self-fulfilling prophecy. VW can thank themselves, and only themselves for the Golf's performance in our market.

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