One of the world's most popular cars, the Volkswagen Golf, could be retired in certain markets as the automotive industry and customers embrace the electric age.
However, the Golf badge still has at least two generations of life left in it – the current Golf 8 and the next Golf 9 – that would run until at least 2035.
With the UK poised to ban internal combustion engines as early as 2030, Auto Express magazine asked a senior VW executive if the Golf still had a future alongside the German brand's upcoming electric ID range.
“Probably not,” said Jurgen Stackmann, a member of the board of management with responsibility for global sales and marketing for Volkswagen passenger cars.
“I think Golf will have a lot of interesting technologies until the boundary of full electric," Mr Stackmann told AutoExpress UK. "The fully electric ID goes into the ID family and that decision is of a divide within the family.
“So for full electric, we want to have optimised platforms doing just electric and they will be called ID for the future.” said Mr Stackmann (pictured below).
According to Auto Express, there had initially been hope that while ID models would take over in markets that allow only full-electric vehicles to be sold, the Golf might continue in other regions.
Mr Stackmann added: “Golf will remain as a strong effort of the brand in many places and I believe in Europe as well, but in many places outside Europe ... they probably don’t have the capacity to go full electric so fast.” said Stackmann.
“So I’m convinced that we will see a parallel run of Golf 9 and ID (for the) next generation.”
Judging by Volkswagen’s seven-year lifecycle, the Golf has at least 14 to 15 years left to run in its current form. VW is also adding the option of hybrid technology and fuel miser petrol engines to the Golf range to maintain its relevance across most markets.
However, it isn’t just the iconic hatchback that’s under threat. Given Volkswagen’s bold plans to rapidly grow the ID range into multiple segments, the Polo and Passat could also fall victim to this change.
As for Australia, the new VW Golf 8’s introduction has been delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, with its launch now expected in early 2021.
Meanwhile, given Australia's reliance on petrol and a lack of incentives for electric cars, the VW Golf is expected to have a secure future locally up to and beyond 2035 as long as the model continues to be available.