Volkswagen expects to record close to zero Golf hatchback sales in the first quarter of 2023 due to a supply issue affecting a specific chip.
A spokesperson for the company told CarExpert that VFACTS figures for the first quarter will consist solely of the unaffected wagon and any leftover hatchback stock.
The missing chip powers the reversing camera, and Volkswagen Australia says it won’t import vehicles without this feature.
Volkswagen is adamant, however, that the Golf isn’t being pulled from the market like the Ford Focus and that this is merely a temporary obstacle.
Customers looking to purchase a Golf and who don’t want to wait will be directed to the T-Roc, which the company says will be in very good supply next year.
The spokesperson also told CarExpert that Volkswagen is no longer the “Golf company” and that even with this supply blackout, the brand is still expecting an overall 20 per cent uplift in sales.
“Our planning volume for Golf is actually really strong, it’s just a shame that you can’t see what that demand really looks like in the numbers and what the planning volume really looks like,” said Michelle Rowney, head of product for Volkswagen Passenger Vehicles in Australia.
The Mk8 Golf arrived in Australia in mid-2021, though it went on sale in Germany at the very end of 2019.
The changeover period saw Golf sales plummet 80.8 per cent overall in 2021. The brand didn’t complete its rollout of the redesigned range until earlier this year with the arrival of the R models.
The range is now complete, at least until the GTE plug-in hybrid’s arrival, which isn’t expected until the second half of 2024 at the earliest.
The same camera chip issue is also affecting the related Caddy line.
“We’re still hamstrung by supply, the biggest challenge we’ve got on that car at the moment is the rear-view camera,” said Ryan Davies, director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Australia.
“And we don’t have quite enough supply of that at the moment, which is affecting our production.
“So we’re looking at ways that we can navigate that restriction without diminishing the safety of the car.”
Volkswagen has already been dealing with semiconductor-related supply issues for the Golf, while the Tiguan is another model that has been significantly affected.
Going into 2023, the company says it will have strong supply of the T-Cross, T-Roc, Tiguan Allspace, Passat, Arteon and Touareg.
Restrictions will continue, however, for the regular-length Tiguan.
MORE: Everything Volkswagen Golf