Two models have supported Volkswagen for decades, rising to the top – Beetle, which laid the foundation for the company, and Golf, which saved carmakers from the economic downturn in the 1970s, writes Bloomberg TV Bulgaria.
Golf sales have reached a record 35 million units so far. 45 years after the first track was launched, the situation for Volkswagen has changed.
The diesel crisis erupted 4 years ago, costing $ 30 billion ($ 33 billion) from German manufacturers, with costs continuing to rise. This has forced Volkswagen to radically rethink its strategy and portfolio, providing an unprecedented impetus for the production of electric cars.
Meanwhile, the insatiable thirst for SUVs has succeeded in lowering Golf from its position as the undisputed leader in the company's international sales. For the first time last year, the Tiguan compact crossover replaces Golf as Volkswagen's best-selling car.
"Golf is still the most important product for Volkswagen and has high symbolic value, but it is no longer important," said analyst Juergen Pieper. According to the Frankfurt-based company, this model generates between 6 and 8% of the best company profits, two percent from 20 decades ago.
Despite this challenge, Volkswagen still has a future for Golf. On October 24, the company will present the latest version of the model with the promise that it's "more digital and connected than ever before".
Volkswagen's dilemma about Golf is a symbol of the automotive industry, which is looking for ways to make its way to the future of electricity without excluding internal fuel vehicles that fund the venture.
In the case of Volkswagen, this is about investing $ 50 billion in developing at least 70 electric models in the group over the next few years, which will be the most aggressive and expensive effort of its kind.
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