Volkswagen may have recently unwrapped an updated 2011 Eos, but it seems the automaker has another new convertible up its sleeves. In fact, the company confirmed yesterday that it plans on pushing a revived Golf Cabrio into production in late 2011.
VW CEO Martin Winterkorn confirmed the Golf Cabrio yesterday, announcing the new soft-top convertible will be built at the company's newly acquired plant in Onsabrück, Germany. This plant was acquired by VW in late 2009, when it purchased the assets of bankrupt convertible specialist (and longtime collaborator) Wilhelm Karmann GmbH.
"Over the decades, some of the most beautiful models in the automotive world have left the assembly line in Onsabrück," Winterkorn said during a visit to the plant. "We will be carrying on this tradition from 2011 with the new Golf Cabrio. The capacities and specialist skills available here are very valuable for our group."
In a twist of history, the factory charged with building the new Golf Cabrio was responsible fabricating each Cabrio built between 1979 and 2002. During that time, Karmann built nearly 600,000 Cabrios for its German partner. Ironically, Karmann had once secured the contract to build the new Golf Cabrio, but Volkswagen cut the supplier from the program in late 2008.
Volkswagen has yet to announce launch markets or production volumes for the new soft-top Golf, but did note the Onsabrück factory will employ about 1800 workers by the end of 2011.
We're particularly curious to see how the Golf Cabrio will fit into Volkswagen's lineup. The Eos will remain a part of VW's portfolio for the foreseeable future, but the Golf's main competition may come from the next New Beetle. Due to launch in 2011, the revamped retro compact car will reportedly also be offered in a soft-top form once again.
Is there room for a Golf Cabriolet here in the U.S., or is Volkswagen attempting to squeeze too many offerings into a niche segment? Send us your best product planning thoughts to us by means of the comments section below.