Is the great proliferation over? VW axes Eos, streamlines bodystyles

Published: 02 April 2015

► VW plans to streamline its range
► Eos coupe-convertible, Polo 3dr axed
► Beetle range lives on

Volkswagen is preparing to slim down its range, indicating a possible cessation of the rampant range proliferation that’s gripped the world’s car makers for the past decade.

Europe’s biggest manufacturer confirmed at the 2015 New York motor show that it was looking to strip out its less successful models to streamline its range.

Board member Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser, in charge of powertrain for the Volkswagen group and VW new-model development, confirmed that models such as the Eos coupe-convertible and the three-door Polo would be dropped.

‘We have to kill less successful models to survive’

CAR asked Neusser if VW could keep on expanding its range exponentially and he admitted it was not sustainable.  

‘We are taking vehicles out,’ he said. ‘We take out the Eos, for example. There will be no successor.’

He said that Volkswagen had to react to changing demand and respond accordingly. Neusser confirmed the Polo three-door hatchback would be killed, too, as most buyers preferred the five-door.

‘If you look at the “take rate” of different versions, they move over time. You have to add models and you have to take things out. Otherwise you get more and more models and you can’t handle it.’

So will VW still produce niche models then?

Oh yes. Neusser said this was a modest streamlining of the product range, rather than the end of niche models.

He confirmed that VW was working on replacements for the Scirocco and Beetle, for instance. And the Beetle range will in 2016 spawn a front-wheel drive Dune soft-roader version, as well as an R-Line model previewed at the New York show.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet