After 46 years in the market, an obituary appeared in specialized motoring newspapers: Ford Fiesta, RIP. With almost five decades behind it, the American utility already has a date for the end of its commercialization: summer of 2023. A path that other models on the market are about to follow, such as the volkswagen polo.
Ford’s movement, which had planned to say goodbye to the Ford Fiesta in 2024, is confirmation of how the latest decisions of the European Union and consumer tastes are ending up killing smaller vehicles. Those multi-purpose utility vehicles of yesteryear, with a contained price, very useful in the city and with sufficient capacities to travel more or less comfortably on long road trips.
Some decisions that put on the tightrope to another model that is already automotive history since its launch in 1975 and six generations behind it. This has been confirmed by Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Volkswagen, in a statement collected by Auto Motor und Sport, on the viability of the Volkswagen Polo with the approval of the future Euro 7 emission standard:
“We still need about two weeks to value it. If the expectations are confirmed, we definitely will not invest more”
This is how forceful the CEO of the brand has sounded about the future of the German utility. A path that the Volkswagen Golf will not take, as Schäfer also points out in the same article. In it he makes it clear that the German compact is iconic enough to continue investing in it and electrify it.
Goodbye to the cheap combustion car
That the Volkswagen Polo has its head already in the guillotine is the best example of where are we walking in the European car. Cars are getting bigger every day, more expensive and, in addition, we are making things very complicated for the most contained and cheap car.
First of all, the European Union has already decided that from 2035 the sale of new cars with combustion engines will be prohibited. But first, Euro 7 will make things very complicated for manufacturers. Reductions of more than 55% in polluting emissions from cars are foreseen and the volume of polluting substances that are expelled by the brakes will even be analyzed.
The problem is that the current limit of 95 gr/km of CO2 It is already very complicated to comply if the car is not electrified, however small it may be. A drastic reduction of up to 55% in the volume of emissions (which also includes NOx, which is very harmful to the lungs) is impossible without extensive mechanical electrification. So much so that it will not be possible if the car is not a plug-in hybrid.
This greatly complicates the future for smaller vehicles, with small combustion engines, with low consumption but which, simply, will never be able to achieve the desired objectives without high electrification. Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault, explained it like this:
“Euro 7 is something close to defying physics. They ask that a combustion car behave like an electric car from 50 meters after starting the engine. It’s impossible, it’s very complicated and it’s going to cost us a lot of money for a marginal effect on the environment.”
Thomas Schäfer adds to this theory and ensures that updating the Volkswagen Polo to a new platform and technologies that allow them to meet the expected volume of emissions would make the utility more expensive in 5,000 eurowhich would place him at almost 27,000 euros starting.
And it is that the Volkswagen Polo already adds 118 gr / km of CO2 according to the data offered in the configurator. Some figures that throws a propellant of just 95 CV. The objectives of the European Union is that this figure is even less than 44.5 gr/km of CO2. Enough reasons now that manufacturers like Audi gave up further evolving the development of combustion engines.
And to this must be added the safety requirements that the European Union is launching with ADAS systems and that is also affecting the viability of smaller and cheaper vehicles, as warned from Dacia.