Sedan sales are down in the US, where customers strongly prefer SUVs and trucks. Dodge has stopped making family sedans, Ford and Chevrolet are slashing sedan production, and Volkswagen is not immune to the trend.
Since 1974, the Golf has been a sales leader for the Wolfsburg-based company. In particular, performance models like the GTI and Type R have been very popular with customers. In fact, the spirited GTI practically invented the “hot hatch” market segment. But sales of the plain vanilla Golf have been sliding recently in the US.
With the debut of the 8th generation Golf just months away, Volkswagen has decided to juggle the Golf model lineup to reflect market realities. In California last week, a Volkswagen spokesperson told Motor 1 the US will not get the standard version of the new Golf. In addition, the SportWagen will also no longer be available in America. Only the GTI and Golf R versions of the 8th generation Golf will be coming stateside.
In a further development, another VW spokesperson told InsideEVs there will be no e-Golfs sold in America after 2019. The next electric car from Volkswagen to be offered in the US will be the I.D. Crozz, which is scheduled to begin production at the VW factory in Tennessee in late 2020. The first of those cars will be designated 2021 models.
That’s all well and good but what of a successor to the e-Golf? Speaking at the Petersen Automotive Museum’s Future of the Automobile conference in Los Angeles last week, Klaus Bischoff, VW’s head of design, told the audience the I.D. hatch (no, it won’t be called the Neo) could come to the U.S., “if Americans want it.”
A Volkswagen spokesperson said in a subsequent email, “In theory, the I.D. hatch could come here.” The inference is that the smallest I.D. electric car could be in US showrooms if the sales mix in America changes. And what could cause such a change? Gas at 4 bucks a gallon, that’s what. But that could never happen, could it?