It's been a few weeks since the automotive world was shaken by the news that the legendary Beetle could potentially receive an electric variant. However, the hopes of fans for a new icon were nearly crushed by the director of Volkswagen's passenger car division. While the manufacturer revived the old "bus" in an electric form, the small Beetle model won't make it into production.
The legend ends with an unsuccessful combustion restart
Volkswagen has achieved considerable success in the passenger car segment with its range of innovative ID models. However, it is already known that even famous model lines like Golf or GTI will have their non-combustion counterparts. Volkswagen is keeping its classic naming conventions on the back burner, and that includes the Beetle. The ID.Buzz model is a halfway measure in this regard. While it didn’t inherit the name from its predecessors, it embodies their design, simplicity of interior, and controls.
When the ID.Buzz was unveiled to the world last year, then-Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess oversaw not only the development of this model but also kept the community hopeful that the small electric Beetle would follow the modern MPV. Together with the Buzz, they were supposed to support the emotional aspect of vehicles and evoke memories of the old times. However, the new CEO is more focused on optimizing and maximizing the profitability of the vehicle portfolio. Both the corporate level and the division director for passenger cars do not see a future for the electric Beetle.
Only the most successful Volkswagens will keep their original names
In a recent interview with Autocar, CEO Thomas Schäfer revealed his thoughts on model naming. It is certain that globally successful models will continue under the same names. Specifically, besides the Golf, he also mentioned the Tiguan. On the other hand, models like the Arteon or Scirocco should not expect successors. Volkswagen has a long list of potential names from its history, but only a handful of them will make it into electric production.
The Beetle, in defense of the company, is not an exceptionally aerodynamic model. However, its recognizability is undeniable. The current direction of the brand is shifting away from nostalgia and emotions and more towards profitability. The competition is becoming increasingly capable, so it is necessary to strengthen the business side of things.