A new sub-brand to sit under VW is at an advanced stage of planning, hear CAR's sources
Volkswagen to launch budget brand, priced from £4800
Georg Kacher and Tim Pollard
11 October 2012 15:36
Volkswagen is planning to launch a new budget brand to challenge the likes of Dacia – and the bargain basement minis will be sold in Europe too.
Prices for the yet-nameless new cheap VWs will start from just €6000, or £4800, according to paperwork seen by CAR.
How can VW build city cars so cheaply?
Volkswagen plans to build the new range of basic cars in China or India, through its existing partnerships in both countries. These are basic vehicles along the lines of Renault's successful Dacia brand - but because of VW's global scale it will bring them to Europe for sale here.
Three vehicles are on the drawing board:
• A simple saloon, €6000 or £4800
• A boxy estate, €7000 or £5600
• A back-to-basics MPV, €8000 or £6400
These will be simple vehicles based on existing architectures from the VW group – platforms which have already been amortised. CAR's sources suggest that the Polo/Golf box of bits will underpin these new budget VWs.
The PQ24/25/35 architectures will mean front-wheel drive and reasonable, if not class-leading, dynamics and all engines will be EU6 compliant. Early Noughties Golfs and Polos weren't that bad, were they?
Won't the budget Volkswagens affect sales of the Up?
These new cheap VWs will be aimed at emerging markets, so will be very basic. A couple of airbags and ABS is your lot – you'll have to pay extra if you want air-con or other such niceties. Styling will be very rudimentary: boxy shapes are stiffer and require fewer pressings and these cars will require half as many pressings in the body shop as a new VW Golf Mk7.
The baby Volkswagen will also be bigger than the Up, stretching between around 4000-4200mm. It's quite a different kettle of fish compared with the classy Up premium small car.
What will the new brand be called?
No word yet on the identity of Volkswagen's 13th brand. Senior sources have suggested to CAR that it'll be a new badge, not plundered from VW's extensive back catalogue.
A final decision is due to be taken by VW's board in winter 2012. Word is the world budget car plan is at a very advanced stage – we understand production is scheduled to begin in the final quarter of 2014.