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Ever since VW pulled the plug on the iconic Beetle in 2019, rumors have been swirling with allegations that an electric replacement is on the way. But in a recent discussion with Autocar during pre-production test drives in the latest Tiguan, Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schafer said a successor to the Beetle is not coming anytime soon. He said that several names like Golf and Tiguan are here to stay, but names like Beetle that cover more niche markets don't exactly qualify to earn a spot in VW's EV plans.


When asked about whether another Beetle is planned, Schafer said, "I don't think so, because there are certain vehicles that have had their day. It wouldn't make sense to bring it back. I wouldn't say with 100 percent [certainty]. But from where I stand now, I wouldn't consider it. It's the same as Scirocco: it had its day, then there was a new model based on a reinterpretation. To do that again? I don't think so. And going forward with balancing all these technologies and the cost that is associated with it, you've got to invest money in the best possible place."




Schafer did say that other important nameplates will continue on into the electric era, including the Passat, Golf, and the Tiguan. But the electric ID.Buzz Microbus revival is about as far back as VW is willing to go. "Obviously we have a lot of names in our history, but there are only, I'd say, a little more than a handful that are really iconic and global. There are the typical ones, the Golf, the Tiguan… Would you do Scirocco or would you do Arteon? Probably not. That is part of our naming philosophy that we are now finalizing."


There's a chance that an electric Beetle revival was previously in the cards, but was cancelled when Schafer was given the helm of Volkswagen CEO. His predecessor, Herbert Diess, expressed interest in reviving the name as a four-door EV, in order to make VW's lineup more "emotional" in the EV era. But the company's current leadership wants to focus on volume models instead, in order to fund its shift to electric power.


Schafer continued that while some legendary nameplates earn a permanent spot in Volkswagen's lineup, it's more about looking forward and creating new models that may someday become just as historic. "The brand always has to reinvent itself and bring out new things. It's similar to when the Beetle's time was over and the Golf came in. You've got to bring new models, but at the same time optimise existing ones." A new Volkswagen Beetle may not be hitting the road anytime soon, but there's still a possibility that the EV era will bring some more future classics for the books.


Would you have liked to see an electric Beetle revival?

Image Credits: Volkswagen
Report
Jun 26, 2023
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Volkswagen CEO Says The Beetle Name Will Not Return Anytime Soon

Some old nameplates will return in the future, but the Beetle is not one of them.

Ever since VW pulled the plug on the iconic Beetle in 2019, rumors have been swirling with allegations that an electric replacement is on the way. But in a recent discussion with Autocar during pre-production test drives in the latest Tiguan, Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schafer said a successor to the Beetle is not coming anytime soon. He said that several names like Golf and Tiguan are here to stay, but names like Beetle that cover more niche markets don't exactly qualify to earn a spot in VW's EV plans.


When asked about whether another Beetle is planned, Schafer said, "I don't think so, because there are certain vehicles that have had their day. It wouldn't make sense to bring it back. I wouldn't say with 100 percent [certainty]. But from where I stand now, I wouldn't consider it. It's the same as Scirocco: it had its day, then there was a new model based on a reinterpretation. To do that again? I don't think so. And going forward with balancing all these technologies and the cost that is associated with it, you've got to invest money in the best possible place."




Schafer did say that other important nameplates will continue on into the electric era, including the Passat, Golf, and the Tiguan. But the electric ID.Buzz Microbus revival is about as far back as VW is willing to go. "Obviously we have a lot of names in our history, but there are only, I'd say, a little more than a handful that are really iconic and global. There are the typical ones, the Golf, the Tiguan… Would you do Scirocco or would you do Arteon? Probably not. That is part of our naming philosophy that we are now finalizing."


There's a chance that an electric Beetle revival was previously in the cards, but was cancelled when Schafer was given the helm of Volkswagen CEO. His predecessor, Herbert Diess, expressed interest in reviving the name as a four-door EV, in order to make VW's lineup more "emotional" in the EV era. But the company's current leadership wants to focus on volume models instead, in order to fund its shift to electric power.


Schafer continued that while some legendary nameplates earn a permanent spot in Volkswagen's lineup, it's more about looking forward and creating new models that may someday become just as historic. "The brand always has to reinvent itself and bring out new things. It's similar to when the Beetle's time was over and the Golf came in. You've got to bring new models, but at the same time optimise existing ones." A new Volkswagen Beetle may not be hitting the road anytime soon, but there's still a possibility that the EV era will bring some more future classics for the books.


Would you have liked to see an electric Beetle revival?

Image Credits: Volkswagen

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Volkswagen CEO Says The Beetle Name Will Not Return Anytime Soon

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