VW’s five-year cycle means even more new cars

Credits: Otis Clay
7 Nov, 2014 9:58am James Batchelor

Volkswagen will replace core models like the Golf and Passat every five years, with facelifts after three

Volkswagen is embarking on a five-year lifecycle of its products to better reflect market and customer demands.

It will mean that core cars like the VW Golf will be replaced after every five years helping the German giant get the most out of its already flexible product range.

“We will reduce the lifecycle of our products to better align with customers’ buying habits,” Volkswagen of America’s vice president for marketing and strategy, Joerg Sommer told Auto Express. “A five-year lifecycle will cut two years off our current lifecycle.”

When a new Volkswagen is launched under the new lifecycle, it will have a facelift and refresh after three years before being replaced completely after five years.

Volkswagen's US investment

Sommer was talking at Volkswagen’s Electronic Research Laboratory (ERL) in California’s Silicon Valley. The ERL is the largest VW research facility outside of Germany and finds ways of integrating current trends in the techie Silicon Valley into the next generation of Volkswagen Group cars – from Skodas to Bugattis.

Volkswagen is pumping $7billion into new products and facilities in the USA from now until 2018 – an investment which will easily have an effect on Volkswagen’s activities in European countries such as the UK.

The company is currently focusing on rolling out the Golf hatchback in the United States – first with GTI and standard Golf models earlier this year, the all-electric e-Golf this month, and the Golf R and Estate (called Sports Wagon in the US) next year.

However, aside from the Golf, Volkswagen of America is also focusing on producing more models in the A and B segments, and in particular the ever-growing SUV sectors.

Volkswagen CrossBlue SUV concept

A new seven-seat SUV will arrive in 2016 that will be built at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant – a facility that currently builds the US-spec Passat. It’ll use VW’s flexible MQB platform and is expected to sit below the Touareg and Tiguan SUVs. It was previewed by the CrossBlue Concept of 2013.

Although Sommer stipulated it’s only for the US, the new SUV is likely to come to the UK as it’ll tap into the popular seven-seat SUV market. Thanks to the MQB platform, the car could easily makes its way across the Pond to allow Volkswagen to compete in a market it’s currently not in.