Volkswagen's BlueSport sports car and Bulli MPV won't see production in the near future as the numbers just don't stack up, says VW R&D chief
27 September 2012

Production versions of the Volkswagen BlueSport sports car and the Volkswagen Bulli retro MPV concept remain on ice, as the firm instead seeks to increase its presence in fast-growing SUV segments.

Speaking at the Paris motor show, VW’s R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg said VW needs to develop more SUVs, with the supermini-SUV segment – populated by the likes of the Mini Countryman and Nissan Juke – one particular market the firm needs to have a presence in.

The launch of such a model is likely in 2014, Hackenberg hinted. It will be based on VW’s new MQB platform and use the new petrol and diesel engines VW has developed for the architecture.

On the BlueSport, Hackenberg said the car was effectively ready for production, but it will not be in showrooms anytime soon as VW has not been able to make a business case for it.

“The segment is falling if anything,” said Hackenberg. “I don’t want to go to the board now with it as a rejection would kill it off completely. If we can make a business case for it, it can be put into production quite quickly. But if we make the proposal now, it dies."

The lack of a business case was also preventing the Bulli concept, first seen at last year’s Geneva motor show, from going any further. “It’s on ice,” said Hackenberg. “We didn’t find a market for it. There is no business case.”

The same goes for a Polo coupe, something that was also previewed at last year’s Geneva show with a Giugiaro-penned concept.

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Comments
11

R32

28 September 2012

Such a huge shame about the Bluesport.  What a stunning car - far nicer than the hideously overpriced F-Type.  Hopefully it may still see the light of day but the longer they keep it "on the shelf" the more the design will date sadly.

28 September 2012

This should have been put into production years ago as a halo model, but Porsche werent keen and they now have control of platform development for sports cars.

28 September 2012

So VW, one of the world's biggest car companies:

  • Are incapable of developing a mini-SUV at the same time as putting the Bluesport into production
  • Can't make a business case for such a car

These reasons are about as believable as Ford's assertion that the new Mondeo has been delayed due to "quality issues".

Enough with the smoke and mirrors, just build the damn thing!  You're already building Boxsters in the Osnabrück VW factory, how hard can it be to add the Bluesport?

28 September 2012

The one I'm more surprised at is the Bulli.  Every other car round me is a Transporter, driven by a single guy, with massive pimped up wheels, and a bike in the back or surfboard on the roof.

A Bulli seems like exactly the 'step up' model for those who can't afford a Transporter.  (Maybe that's the problem - it could cannibalise Transporter sales.)

Edit:  Although having looked at it, it seems much smaller than I first thought.  Can you even fit a bike in the back?  If not, I can see why there's no business case for it.

28 September 2012

Big shame about the BlueSport, but don't think the Bulli is a big loss: It was a very watered down version of previous concepts, and just looked like a Touran with different bits on to me.

28 September 2012

is a shame that they are not making the BlueSport, it would have been a VW I would actually seriously consider buying .

Do not understand why they are focusing on the 4X4 market considering that market has reached maturity and their are signs that markets are moving away from big 4X4's to smaller more economical cars. (even the US market is moving away from poor MPG cars)

K_A

28 September 2012

tomy90 wrote:

Do not understand why they are focusing on the 4X4 market considering that market has reached maturity and their are signs that markets are moving away from big 4X4's to smaller more economical cars. (even the US market is moving away from poor MPG cars)

You seemed to have forgot about the Chinese and Middle Eastern markets, where sales of large SUVs thrive.

The BlueSport and Bulli are roughly the same size as the current Polo hatchback and it is a shame that neither are reaching production, just yet. A Polo-based SUV would be on my shopping list, providing the range-topping model retails for under £20,000.

Shoppers in the United States still purchase large SUVs, regradless of MPG. I hear VW is mulling a Touareg-sized, cost-effective SUV especially for the U.S.

28 September 2012

Dear so-called experts running VW,

 

I know that VW is at the end of the day a company and your target is to be the world's largest car maker and to increase profits as much as possible by selling more cars and by making production more efficient...but sometimes you've got to decide with your heart, not only with your head. Producing something like the BlueSport gives the brand a halo model, and gives it a better image.

 

Why do you think that even Toyota, a company obsessed with profit figures and penny pinching, is making the GT86 and LFA? To try and inject some much-needed fun and passion in the Toyota and Lexus brands respectively. Why does a company like Nissan build the GT-R? To boost brand image; in fact, I remember reading once that they probably build the GT-R at a loss but they factor in the fact that each one they build has some sort of 'marketing/advertisement token' that means it is at the end of the day a-bit more justifiable because they are rolling advertisements.

 

While VW is on the whole not quite so boring as Toyota, I fear the current way it's heading means it won't be too long before it gets to that point. A pity, because you do make some great vehicles and something like the BlueSport would have the potential to blow the competition away, get a-lot of good press and thus get a-lot of positive exposure.

 

In addition, how hard can it be to take one of the current small Audi SUVs and turn it into a VW? Does it really require freezing all other projects while it's being designed?

 

I sincerely hope you reconsider your position and look forward to hearing that you will indeed by making the BlueSport in the near future (it has to be in the near future or it'll get too old and you'll have to completely redesign it, wasting all the money you spent to get it production-ready...now that would be quite a grievous business decision, wouldn't it?).

 

Regards,

Someone who has just given you a pretty plausible business case to build the BlueSport. 

 

- Follow your own star -

28 September 2012

I suspect they know they wouldnt be able able to make a car to compete with the MX5, which could be the real reason they wont make the Bluesport. 

29 September 2012

Not really surprised. The Blue Sport looks nice, but let's be honest, VW would probably sell 10,000 Golfs for every one Blue Sport. I don't see that many 2 seat cars around - for most people they're a niche, a toy, and often a 2nd or 3rd car, perhaps one you have for a bit in your early twenties or during a mid life crisis, and 2 door cars probably don't do that well in sales terms during a recession/depression.

VW doesn't need it as a halo model either, their image is good enough anyway.

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