The Volkswagen brand appears to be done with convertibles.
The brand’s last convertible, the T-Roc Cabriolet, will bow out next year – leaving Volkswagen’s range without an open-air option.
The convertible body style has continued to decline in popularity and the pool of affordable droptops in Europe has correspondingly gotten smaller.
Automotive News Europe reports the T-Roc was Europe’s third best-selling car from January to November 2023, with the T-Roc Cabriolet finishing second in the convertible sales race behind the Mini Convertible.
But while the T-Roc managed 191,015 registrations in 2023 over the 11-month period, just 11,693 of those were of the convertible model.
“There is only a really small customer group for cabrios,” said the Volkswagen brand’s development boss, Kai Grunitz.
There doesn’t appear to be any new Volkswagen convertible on the horizon.
The company released a sketch of a droptop ID.3 back in 2021, but while it said it was creating a concept of this, no such concept ended up being revealed.
Elsewhere in the Volkswagen Group, there’s still a handful of open-top models available, ranging from the Audi A5 all the way up to the Bentley Continental GTC. But others have been axed in recent times, including the Audi A3 and TT.
Before the SUV craze turned the tables in the sales race, Volkswagen offered convertible Golf and Beetle models.
The Golf range was previously Volkswagen’s best seller in Europe, but is now outsold by the T-Roc crossover, while the factory that produced the old Eos droptop now produces the T-Roc.
The T-Roc Cabriolet is part of an exclusive club of convertible crossover SUVs. Other notable attempts include the defunct Range Rover Evoque Convertible and Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet.
The next T-Roc, due in 2025, will not only ditch a folding roof option, it will also be the German brand’s last new combustion-powered vehicle in Europe.
Before electric-only replacements for the T-Roc, Passat and Tiguan debut, however, there will be an EV-only Mk9 Golf.
Don’t expect to see Volkswagen walk away from its long-running nameplates, however.
“It’s clear that we will not be giving up iconic names like Golf, Tiguan and GTI, but will be transferring them to the electric world,” Volkswagen brand boss Thomas Schäfer told German publication Automobilwoche.