Is there a future for European agreements?
Do you still want to sit in a “traditional” car? This means a car that is not lifted and follows what has been done since the end of the 40s in Europe. On closer inspection, sales of compact sedans have all fallen in Europe in recent years, impacted by the rise of SUVs in their own segments. Even the Golf, which remains the leader in the Old Continent, is far from its glory years at almost 800,000 units. By 2022, VW should sell less than 250,000.
And these SUVs may be systematically more expensive than their compact counterparts, but they’re better. The “high seat” effect, the legal side and the feeling for many to be safe. But anyway, we’re now reaching a stage where we wonder what will happen to historic compact sedans: Renault Mégane, Volkswagen Golf, Seat Leon, Ford Focus and even the Hyundai i30 and Kia Ceed… even the Mercedes Class A.
Not all compacts are viable, for a variety of reasons. We know in particular that the Focus won’t be far away as Ford refocuses its European portfolio on a more expensive and more American range. Those who want the C-segment at Ford will therefore have to look to the Kuga, just as Fiesta customers will have no choice but to opt for a Puma in the future. Too bad the others! Ford knows very well that these radical choices will lead to a mechanical decrease in volumes, but will be compensated (obviously the brand hopes) by increasing margins.
Mercedes will ditch models and focus on ultra luxury
At Mercedes, the entire compact range is being talked about with the same concern for increasing prices and prioritizing more expensive models. We already know that some “A” or B” (CLA Shooting Brake, Class A sedan?) must bow. But what will happen to the Class A “hatchack” in the future? So far, Mercedes has only produced an electric EQA that captures the spirit of the GLA, but without the classic sedan EQA. To be continued, again.
Among Koreans, Kia Ceed and Hyundai i30 are starting to age: 4 years for the first, and almost 7 years for the second. However, the time is not for renewal as the Ceed is restyled at the end of 2021. And above all, Hyundai and Kia are busier developing the Ioniq range or funding the army of SUVs than working on existing compacts!
The future is bleaker for the Volkswagen Golf and Seat Leon. In Germany, the VW CEO has already confirmed that the “Golf” name will not disappear from the electric offensive, but it may be included in the ID range. An “ID.Golf” that we should not discover before the end of the decade and the arrival of the new SSP platform. Regarding the Iberian cousin, on the other hand, uncertainty reigns. The Volkswagen Group is now clearly emphasizing the Cupra at the expense of Seat, which maintains family cars: Arona, Tarraco. And then, the Cupra Leon now finds itself in the Born competition.
Finally, all this may give way to the Japanese who have no intention of giving up Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3 and other Honda Civics!
The Renault Mégane at the end?
The fourth generation Mégane already has seven years on the clock. A pretty solid lifespan, but currently there is no question of renewal. The BCB electric car project will give birth to something new, but not a “Mégane”. Renault finally decided by naming it Mégane E-Tech, passing a suffix already used by the “real” Mégane, to the hybrid. In other words, it’s confusing! Renault doesn’t intend to replace the Mégane with its small electric compact, especially since there’s still a big size gap between the 2: 15 cm between the gasoline compact and the electric Mégane E-Tech, and let’s not even talk about the station wagon.
A body that survived Renault in the Mégane and still pleases the pros, but again, what future for this model? If the Mégane 4 range folds without further action, giving way to Mégane E-Tech alone, there will be a hole to plug at Renault. A void supposedly filled by an unprecedented long Captur, but the taste will never be the same. For the Mégane, we will therefore probably have to mourn in the coming years: in the mid-2000s, more than 400,000 were sold in Europe. If Renault exceeds 50,000 units by 2022, the diamond can enjoy…