Audi’s CEO has confirmed that the four rings will not be renewing the A1 for a third generation once the current second-generation model’s lifecycle expires.
In a lengthy interview with Automotive News Europe about the Ingolstadt’s focus on electric vehicles and banning of internal combustion engines on the Old Continent by 2030, Markus Duesmann – who hinted back in February that the A1 could be living on borrowed time – said the looming Euro 7 emissions regulations would make competing in the lower segments difficult as a result of costs relating to petrol and/or diesel vehicles.
“We know that offering combustion engines in the smaller segments in the future will be pretty difficult because the costs will go up. Therefore, we won’t have a successor to the A1. If the new Euro 7 rules are not too harsh, it will allow us to invest more in e-mobility,” Duesmann said.
On track to be implemented in 2025, the regulations call for a manufacturer fleet average of no less than 90g/km, with green technology skewed towards hybrids and electric vehicles being favoured in the run-up towards the mentioned ban.
Based on the same MQB A0 platform as the Volkswagen Polo, Skoda Fabia and Seat Ibiza, the A1 – which debuted three years ago – has lagged behind its closest competitors with global sales last year of 65,000 units, a drop of 12% from 2019.
By comparison, Volkswagen shifted 345,000 Polos, Seat 83,000 Ibizas, Skoda 66,000 of the previous generation Fabia, Citroën 185,000 C3s, Ford 132,000 Fiestas, Renault 330,000 Clios, Suzuki 300,000 Swifts, Peugeot 245,000 208s and Opel/Vauxhall 215,000 examples of the Corsa – with sales of the venerable Mini hatch topping 170,000.
At present, it remains unknown as to when A1 production at Seat’s Martorell Plant in Spain will cease, but chances are it could happen before 2025.