Volkswagen Could Kill Off One of Its Most Iconic Models

Sebastien Bell
by Sebastien Bell

With flagging sales and a cost-saving mission handed down from on high, the fate of the Volkswagen Scirocco and Beetle has long been the topic of speculation, but now there’s new evidence to suggest that they’re in danger of extinction.

The topic of a new generation of each was brought up at VW’s Annual Session where Arno Antlitz, a board member for controlling and accounting, spoke ominously about the cars’ futures.

“The Beetle and Scirocco are representatives of an emotional and appealing class of vehicles, but it [VW product planning] is not always about continuing cars from one generation to the next,” said Antlitz.

Upcoming models, such as the I.D. family and the Arteon, he said, would be emotional vehicles in their own right, suggesting that they could fill any gaps left behind by a missing Beetle or Scirocco.

SEE ALSO: Volkswagen Could Sell Ducati to Help Pay the Bills: Report

A report from Autocar suggests, though, that only the hardtop Beetle is in danger of getting the ax, as the convertible version sells better and is the brand’s only remaining convertible.

Together, though, only 25,000 Beetle and Beetle Convertibles sold in 2016, a number that the Golf reached in January of 2017. Meanwhile, fewer than 11,000 Sciroccos sold last year. Even compared to the GTI, that’s not a great result. In America alone, more GTIs were sold in the first half of 2016.

Following the Dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen is looking for any opportunity to cut costs and, although that project has been going well, not having to redesign cars that don’t sell well could be an attractive way to save some cash.

A version of this story originally appeared on VW Vortex

Discuss this story on our Volkswagen Beetle Forum

Sebastien Bell
Sebastien Bell

Sebastien is a roving reporter who covers Euros, domestics, and all things enthusiast. He has been writing about the automotive industry for four years and obsessed with it his whole life. He studied English at the Wilfrid Laurier University. Sebastien also edits for AutoGuide's sister sites VW Vortex, Fourtitude, Swedespeed, GM Inside News, All Ford Mustangs, and more.

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  • TransWarpDrive TransWarpDrive on May 27, 2017

    Lord, NO! Scrap the Scirocco if you must, but keep the Beetle! After all, that's the car that started Volkswagen in the first place. Remember, it was the New Beetle back in the mid- to late 1990's that saved VW from closing down its North American operation. Publicity surrounding the "Concept One" New Beetle prototype in 1994 increased VW sales to the point that, not only would VW stay in North America, but they would also put a Beetle model back in production. VW owes its existence to the Beetle. They should honor that car, and Prof. Ferdinand Porsche (who created & designed it), by keeping the Bug in production in some form.