Report: VW USA May Only Sell Mk8 Golf Performance Variants [Update]

Volkswagen may not sell the standard or SportWagon Mk8 Golf in America. According to a report from Motor1, once the Mk7 is replaced, the GTI and the R will be the only Golfs on sale in America.

The publication cites an unnamed Volkswagen of America employee with whom it spoke at the launch of the Arteon this week. No official reason was given for the reported death of the standard and Sportwagen Golf.

When we reached out to Volkswagen, a spokesperson told us that “the Golf R and GTI are confirmed, but other Golf models are still under consideration for the North American Region.”

A quick look at sales numbers, though, paints a picture of why the brand might want to cancel the non-performance Golfs.

As we reported in February, Volkswagen has been selling far more GTIs than standard Golfs in the USA and that’s a trend that’s been going on for some time. Back in February, the GTI outsold the standard by four times and the GTI outsold the standard Golf in 2018.

April was a strong month—relatively speaking—for the base Golf, but Volkswagen still sold nearly twice as many GTIs as it did Golfs.

Although the SportWagen did well in 2018, sales in 2019 have been all but absent with numbers falling by 40% in April and by nearly 50% in 2019.

If the report turns out to be right, it would be part of a trend across the automotive industry towards fewer passenger cars and more SUVs. Sales of the Atlas and the Tiguan have been buoying VW, compensating for falling Golf sales. With sales of the Jetta rising and the rapid approach of the Arteon, though, it’s not all doom and gloom for car fans.

The decision to bring the GTI and the R would, however, be a nice reminder that VW is committed to its fanbase and that the fanbase is committed to it.