The German automaker has decided to pull the plug on its Eos cabriolet sometimes in the middle of the year in response to the latest customer shift away from convertibles in general and retractable hardtops in particular.
European buyers have been embracing the US trend of purchasing sport utility vehicles, with certain segments generally falling out of favor – and the cabriolet sector is one of them. Confirming a recent report in German publication Automobilwoche, a VW spokesperson announced “after nine years and roughly 230,000 units built, production of the Eos in Portugal will end in May/June.” According to the automaker the models’ production end will not have an impact on the production facility in Setubal, where around 3,500 workers also cater for the production of the Scirocco coupe, Sharan large minivan and its sister model the Seat Alhambra. “We announced in June of last year that Volkswagen will be investing 677 million euros in the plant by 2018,” added the spokesperson.
Mass-market automakers have seen a general decline in cabrio sales in Europe lately, with data from JATO Dynamics pointing out that regional sales of convertibles have dropped 20 percent to 65,737 units in 2014. In the segment, the Eos was just ninth, with deliveries falling 14 percent to 3,197 vehicles. Opel also has problems with its rivaling soft-top Cascada, which has not seen sales live up to previous forecasts. General Motors has opted to also rebadge the model for export purposes as a Buick in the US (2016) and as a Holden in Australia (this year) in hopes of lifting utilization levels at the production factory in Gliwice, Poland.
Via Automotive News Europe