Volkswagen: no ID Bug to follow ID Buzz

Volkswagen: no ID Bug to follow ID Buzz

Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schäfer has ruled out reviving the Beetle for the electric age, even as some of the brand’s most famous model names are primed for comebacks. The future of Volkswagen’s naming strategy has been a hot topic recently. Schäfer previously told Autocar that Golf and Golf GTI EVs were on the cards, and he has now suggested that several other storied names are tipped to survive the transition from combustion to electric power. “We’ve decided that we’re not going to throw away the traditional, successful names that have carried us for so long, that we’ve invested in for so long, like Golf and Tiguan,” said Schäfer. “Why would you let them go?”

Asked what qualifies a name to be significant enough for revival on an EV, he said: “Obviously we have a lot of names in our history, but there are only, I’d say, a little more than a handful that are really iconic and global. There are the typical ones: Golf, Tiguan… [But] would you do Scirocco or would you do Arteon? Probably not. That’s part of our naming philosophy that we’re now finalising.” However, when asked if Volkswagen’s longest-lived name could therefore be reused, Schäfer said: “I don’t think so, because certain vehicles have had their day. It wouldn’t make sense to bring it back. I wouldn’t say with 100% [certainty], but from where I stand now, I wouldn’t consider it.

It’s the same as Scirocco: it had its day, then there was a new model based on a reinterpretation. To do that again? I don’t think so. “And going forward with balancing all these technologies and the cost that’s associated with it, you’ve got to invest money in the best possible place.” Schäfer’s comments came as Volkswagen revealed a Beetle EV concept designed for superhero Ladybug, the star of upcoming animated children’s film Miraculous. The ID Buzz nods heavily to Volkswagen’s heritage but doesn’t represent a desire to continue down the retro path with similar ‘revivals’, according to Schäfer, who said playing up to nostalgia “would be a dead end”.

He explained that a name can only return if the new model adheres rigidly to the spirit of its namesake. “If you call something a Golf or Passat or Tiguan, it has to have the genes of the vehicle. You can’t just call it something if it’s not the same substance,” he said.

“There are examples at the moment where someone has taken a classic name and then put it on a car that’s not at all what it is… But I’m not mentioning names.”

Beetle EV rebirth won’t happen on Schäfer’s watch

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