VW boss says city car's future is in doubt due to challenges of selling small cars and meeting emissions targets in the European market
Rachel Burgess
12 September 2017

Volkswagen is considering the future of its Up city car in Europe, according to company boss Herbert Diess. 

While he said the Up was very popular in certain markets, such as Brazil, where VW is localising its production, Diess acknowledged that it was more challenging in Europe. 

“We still see a future for that segment but we have to weigh up how much profit contribution and positive CO2 effects we get from [the Up],” said Diess, speaking at the Frankfurt motor show

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“On small cars, it’s very hard to bring [their emissions] below 93g or 95g without adding a lot of cost. 

“It becomes complicated. The electric Up makes much more sense.”

He also commented that, as emissions for bigger cars are reduced to less than 100g/km CO2, smaller cars, such as the Up, don't help with manufacturer's overall emission targets in the way they once did. 

“We need [a CO2 lessening] contribution from these [smaller] cars or we have to question it - or up the price.” 

Diess said no decision had been made on the future of the Up, but added: “Selling small cars is not easy. It’s a very European problem.”

The Up is also used as the basis for sister brand Skoda's Citigo. When asked whether the Citigo was also under threat, Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier said the car would continue to be produced - but didn't rule out a withdrawal from Europe. “Of course, every car needs a sustainable business model and we want to improve on all our KPIs but we must also remember the Citigo is the entry point to our brand. In emerging markets especially it plays a very strong role," he said.

"In those countries this is the segment that is growing fastest and for that reason I see a lot of opportunity in the case. It is also a car that could easily be electrified, which is something we're investigating. From our perspective I don't see the end of production coming.”

Read more

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The Volkswagen Up city car isn't revolutionary, it's just quantifiably better than the opposition

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Comments
23

12 September 2017

Small cars are generally simple and cheap to make so while their tailpipe emissions might be theoretically higher than a PHEV (real world is another story), craddle to grave emissions might paint a different picture. Given the apparent success of the UP! and its siblings (based on the sheer number I see on the road) the suggestion that VW could stop making it on CO2 grounds seems bizzare and simply highlights how impractical and one dimesional the CO2 targets are.

12 September 2017
Will86 wrote:

Small cars are generally simple and cheap to make so while their tailpipe emissions might be theoretically higher than a PHEV (real world is another story), craddle to grave emissions might paint a different picture. Given the apparent success of the UP! and its siblings (based on the sheer number I see on the road) the suggestion that VW could stop making it on CO2 grounds seems bizzare and simply highlights how impractical and one dimesional the CO2 targets are.

I'd argue against them being cheap to make. It's not so much the material cost that makes up total production costs in the automotive industry. Whether VAG, or any other manufacturer run an UP or Fiesta down a production line it incurs largely the same costs as it would for a Passat or Mondeo. Your production costs are dictated by factors other than car size. Distribution and marketing costs also remain broadly similar, whilst the capital receipt from the product can be 50 - 70% less at retail.

12 September 2017

Perhaps a special 'run out' edition could be produced badged 'Yours' 

A34

12 September 2017
odie_the_dog wrote:

Perhaps a special 'run out' edition could be produced badged 'Yours' 

Perhaps a special 'run out' edition could be produced badged 'City Go' or 'Mii' ... oh wait ... 

12 September 2017

..there are Hyundai i10, Kia Picanto, Fiat Panda, Toyota Aygo and lots of other lovely little city cars to choose from if you can't make a profit without sticking one of your filthy diesels in the front.....

Steam cars are due a revival.

12 September 2017

If ever proof was needed that many people in the UK bought cars purely for the badge and were obsessed with German brands, then the Up is that proof. The Mii and Citigo are virtually identical, represent better value for money, are built in the same place and I think look better than the Up and yet they barely sell over here. And yet you will always see a few VW Ups whenever you're out and about. 

12 September 2017

Your comments are spot on.

Steam cars are due a revival.

12 September 2017

Much better deal, better price, good spec and a great little car.

Neighbours wife has an Up!, says she couldnt bear to be seen getting into a Skoda......

Steam cars are due a revival.

12 September 2017

When we leased our work UP! it's monthlies were lower than Mii or Citigo ... presumably because of perceived better residuals ... because it's a VW!

I also prefer the look of the UP1 to its siblings.

12 September 2017

​Lol - "as the basis for sister brands Skoda's Citygo" WTF ? The Citygo IS an Up with minor differences !

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