Goodbye Volkswagen Arteon, we barely knew you.
The large liftback and wagon have been culled globally as part of a movement to kill low-volume cars within Volkswagen, in a bid to focus more closely on core models. It’s not clear when its life will end in Australia.
CEO Thomas Schafer has also said profitability will be improved by simpler line-ups, and by smarter management of production across brands as demand fluctuates.
Development of similar vehicles will be tied more closely together to cut costs – the upcoming Volkswagen Passat and Skoda Superb are closely linked, saving up to €600m over their lives for the Volkswagen Group.
The brand’s new profit push is part of a plan called Accelerate Forward // Road to 6.5 – which refers to the 6.5 per cent profit margin it’s targeting on new cars.
It’ll be run by a new project management office, and will by 2026 generate an additional €10b in profit for Volkswagen if successful.
“The program is the number one priority for the entire Board of Management. We must build new strength for the Volkswagen brand and position it robustly for future growth, which is why we are now getting an enormous concerted effort off the ground,” Thomas Schafer said.
“We need to achieve a sustainable return on sales of 6.5 percent in the Volkswagen brand. Achieving this in 2026 is very ambitious, but feasible if we pool our efforts.
“This will enable us to safeguard jobs, finance our future from our own resources and continue to invest in new vehicles and technologies, in the modernisation of our plants and in staff training.”
Volkswagen is far from alone in cutting complexity from its range in search of better profitability. Mercedes-Benz is another high-profile example which has cut back on the number of cars it’ll be offering.
The C-Class and E-Class coupe and convertible are being rolled into one model called CLE, the CLS has been axed, and only four of the brand’s seven Entry Luxury model lines will survive for another generation.