Currently reading: Volkswagen could axe Up in Europe
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
News
2 mins read
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

Frankfurt motor show - live report and update

Volkswagen Group to offer electrified version of every model by 2030

Opinion: where were the VW Group's electric cars at Frankfurt?

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Skoda Citigo 2017 review

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superstevie 13 September 2017

I think it would be a shame

I think it would be a shame if they do that. The main reason city cars don't make the manufacturers that much money is more because of the safety equipement than anything else. 

Lanehogger 13 September 2017

City cars appear to be expensive to develop

I believe the Up was a very expensive car to design and develop, and to build too, which is why VW don't make as much on this car like they do on their others models and why it (and Mii and Citigo) are relatively expensive for city cars. The platform and assembly lines are currently unique to the Up, Mii and Citigo with no other bodystyle variants or models having yet been spun off this platform either as I don't think its NSF platform is modular and variable in the same way MQB is for example. And talking about MQB, the smallest cars that can be spun off this platform are superminis but as we've seen with the new Polo and Ibiza, they're quite big. So if the VW Group did consider replacing the Up, Mii and Citigo with a MQB based model, it'd probably be quite big for the class which would make it being a city car pointless.

 

It seems city cars, for what they are, are actually quite expensive to develop due to their unique platforms and this is probably why PSA & Toyota went in to a joint venture as did Ford & Fiat and Smart & Renault while some other companies simply rebadged a city car that was cheaper to build, like Nissan did with the Pixo and Vauxhall did with the Agila. May be the VW Group will be considering developing a joint venture for any future city car to reduce costs or build them in a country where a car is cheaper to manufacturer.

 

Jimbbobw1977 13 September 2017

Lanehogger wrote:

Lanehogger wrote:

I believe the Up was a very expensive car to design and develop, and to build too, which is why VW don't make as much on this car like they do on their others models and why it (and Mii and Citigo) are relatively expensive for city cars. The platform and assembly lines are currently unique to the Up, Mii and Citigo with no other bodystyle variants or models having yet been spun off this platform either as I don't think its NSF platform is modular and variable in the same way MQB is for example. And talking about MQB, the smallest cars that can be spun off this platform are superminis but as we've seen with the new Polo and Ibiza, they're quite big. So if the VW Group did consider replacing the Up, Mii and Citigo with a MQB based model, it'd probably be quite big for the class which would make it being a city car pointless.

 

It seems city cars, for what they are, are actually quite expensive to develop due to their unique platforms and this is probably why PSA & Toyota went in to a joint venture as did Ford & Fiat and Smart & Renault while some other companies simply rebadged a city car that was cheaper to build, like Nissan did with the Pixo and Vauxhall did with the Agila. May be the VW Group will be considering developing a joint venture for any future city car to reduce costs or build them in a country where a car is cheaper to manufacturer.

 

VAG will steal sales from themselves with the new Polo and Ibiza it would seem as size wise they are big cars now. The previous VW Fox was a cheap Brazilian import based on the polo chassis, and the Lupo was a chopped down Polo. 

Beastie_Boy 13 September 2017

Given one as a discourtesy car when our Polo GTIwent for service

Hateful little thing (and I could be described as a VW fan boy). Overpriced and under specced and wouldn't pull skin off custard.

if I was in the market for a small city car, I'd go for a Fiat Panda and they're knocking on a bit now...

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