BERLIN (Reuters) – Volkswagen does not plan to develop a new combustion engine generation of its legendary Golf car, brand chief Thomas Schaefer told autos publication Automobilwoche on Sunday, marking the end of the line for a vehicle on sale since 1974.
The Golf 8, currently in production, will be the last combustion engine version of the hatchback car, with one more series of updates expected next year.
“With that, the car is set until the end of the decade. Then we have to see how this segment develops,” Schaefer said. “If the world develops completely differently than expected by 2026 or 2027, we could develop a totally new vehicle – but I don’t think it will. So far that is not expected,” he added.
Volkswagen’s decision not to invest in upgrading the Golf, for decades Europe’s bestselling car, is a marker of the shift in investment by the carmaker from retooling combustion engines to bringing down the cost of electric vehicles.
The Volkswagen brand, part of the Volkswagen Group, is targeting 80% electric sales in Europe and 55% in North America by 2030. The group is targeting 50% electric sales globally by then.
The carmaker plans to keep the Golf name for a future electric model, but the earliest this is likely to be released is 2028, Schaefer said.
It is due to launch 10 new electric models by 2026, including a battery-electric car for under 25,000 euros($27,000).
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(Reporting by Victoria Waldersee; Editing by Sharon Singleton)