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Monday, April 22, 2024

Volkswagen CEO squashes any hopes of an all-electric Beetle


A mere few weeks after a digital animation of an electrical Volkswagen Beetle stirred the rumor mill a few real-life model, the CEO of the passenger vehicles enterprise has mentioned in any other case. Though the German automaker just lately revived its basic Bus as a BEV with a number of different acquainted VW nameplates to observe, the Beetle will stay exterminated for now.

Though it stays a family title in autos, Volkswagen Group sees itself claiming a a lot bigger position sooner or later market panorama. Moreover, the automaker has remained fairly open about the way it intends to take action by embracing electrification all through its manufacturers and electrifying most of its widespread nameplates.

Volkswagen Vehicles, particularly, has discovered early success with its ID model EVs and has already confirmed widespread fashions just like the Golf and GTI might be transitioned into their very own BEV variations sooner or later. As a nod to its previous, Volkswagen just lately launched the ID.Buzz primarily based on the cult-classic VW buses (seen under).

The ID.Buzz was a mission overseen by ex-Group CEO Herbert Diess, who was ousted final summer time and changed by Porsche CEO Oliver Blume. Throughout his tenure, Diess helped dream up a reborn model of the Volkswagen Beetle as an electrical automobile to invoke a extra “emotional” lineup.

Blume, nevertheless, is extra keen on optimization and profitability than emotion, and Volkswagen Vehicles’ CEO Thomas Schäfer seems to be in the identical camp, just lately describing an electrical Beetle as a “useless finish” with out ruling out its future solely. Right here’s the most recent.

Electric beetle
Volkswagen’s most up-to-date all-electric rebirth of a retro nameplate – the ID.Buzz

The electrical Beetle will reside on… as fantasy fiction

In a current interview with Autocar, Volkswagen Passenger Vehicles CEO Thomas Schäfer spoke to the model’s future in EVs and its plans to convey sure nameplates (and abandon others) because it transitions into the all-electric period. Per Schäfer:

We’ve determined we’re not going to throw away the normal, profitable names which have carried us for thus lengthy, that we’ve invested in for thus lengthy, like Golf and Tiguan. Why would you allow them to go? Clearly now we have a variety of names in our historical past, however there are solely, I’d say, a bit of greater than a handful which can be actually iconic and international. There are the everyday ones, the Golf, the Tiguan… Would you do Scirocco or would you do Arteon? In all probability not. That’s a part of our naming philosophy that we at the moment are finalizing.

So the Golf and Tiguan are in, however the Scirocco and Arteon are most likely out. Earlier this month, an animated model of an all-electric Beetle was showcased because the wheels for a superhero referred to as Ladybug within the kids’s Netflix film MiraculousWe reported on the time that this might be a touch of Diess’ dream of “emotion” coming to fruition. Nonetheless, when requested about the potential for an all-electric Volkswagen Beetle making its method to market, Schäfer didn’t seem too optimistic:

I don’t suppose so, as a result of there are specific autos which have had their day. It wouldn’t make sense to convey it again. I wouldn’t say with 100% [certainty]. However from the place I stand now, I wouldn’t take into account it. It’s the identical as Scirocco: it had its day, then there was a brand new mannequin primarily based on a reinterpretation. To do this once more? I don’t suppose so. And going ahead with balancing all these applied sciences and the associated fee that’s related to it, you’ve obtained to speculate cash in the absolute best place.

Within the CEO’s protection, Volkswagen bugs aren’t precisely essentially the most aerodynamic design, however alongside the Bus, the Beetle is well essentially the most recognizable automobile the automaker has ever constructed and has a protracted historical past in popular culture. Nonetheless, the choice to curb nostalgia and deal with extra viable EV conversion makes a variety of sense from a enterprise standpoint, so followers of the Beetle could also be ready a lifetime to see an all-electric model.

Maybe VW will make an eVTOL model, and we’ll ultimately get to see an electrical Beetle take flight. If that occurs and so they don’t name it a lightning bug, I’ll be pissed.

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