One of the world's biggest car makers, Volkswagen, believes it may have reached 'peak SUV'.
As car buyers around the globe embrace high-riding hatchbacks, soft-roaders, and SUVs in place of conventional passenger cars, most of the big brands have seemingly filled every possible niche.
Now a senior executive from Volkswagen has told media in the UK there is likely no room for any more SUVs in its line-up for the foreseeable future.
In an interview with British publication AutoCar, Volkswagen's research and development chief Frank Welsch said the car maker needs to focus on being “efficient as a volume player”, and that introducing too many SUV models could instead hurt sales.
“If we have too many (SUV) models and sell 30,000 or 40,000 units a year, we can’t make money,” Mr Welsch told AutoCar. “We will focus on the cars that can be successful.”
Translated: the car industry is a numbers game and it is more profitable to sell 100,000 examples of one car than 100,000 examples of two cars, because the development cost of two vehicles is, of course, higher than the development cost for one.
Volkswagen still believes buyers will continue to embrace SUVs for some time, but it doesn't want to spread its own resources too thin.
“I don’t think [the growth in SUVs] is over, but we have enough,” Welsch told AutoCar. “We do not need 10 more.”
“We have to take care. We must have a portfolio that is efficient as a volume player.”
An electric ID.4 SUV is also in the works and Volkswagen Australia is keen to introduce it here. A Volkswagen Australia spokesperson told CarAdvice last month: "It's desirable to start with an (electric) SUV."