Volkswagen’s compact Polo range could soon be scaled back and the new Beetle might be on the road to early retirement as the company works to find savings across a bloated global line-up.
According to German paper Der Spiegel, the hunt for cost-cutting opportunities has moved the carmaker to focus on an exclusively five-door design for the next-generation Polo, dropping the long-running three-door style.
The current Polo range also boasts a high-riding ‘CrossPolo’ model in overseas markets, but the ongoing popularity of SUV models may see that variant survive into the next generation.
Three-door variants of five-door hatches are traditionally a low-volume offering, and Volkswagen Australia has already dropped the option.
Another low-volume model in the Volkswagen range is the niche Beetle, now into its second generation since relaunching in 1997.
Sales data shows that Volkswagen sold 109,517 Beetles in 2013 (2014 figures are still to come), although this marked a slight increase over its performance in 2012, which totalled 107,939 units.
In Australia, just 27 Beetles have been sold year-to-date, compared to 102 for the same period in 2014.
Der Spiegel reports that while Volkswagen has yet to make a decision on the future of either the three-door Polo or the Beetle, killing off the iconic bug would save the brand more than 200 million euros alone.
The carmaker has already confirmed that its ageing Eos convertible will not be replaced.
Overall global sales for the Volkswagen brand fell in 2013 to 2,495,745 units, compared to 2,580,266 in 2012.