BERLIN (Reuters) -- Volkswagen will probably stop making three-door versions of the Polo hatchback, as Europe's largest carmaker accelerates cost cutting at its core division, company sources said.
The VW brand will launch an overhauled Polo in 2017 and may discontinue the subcompact variant as demand for three-door hatchbacks is falling, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday, adding that the next-generation Polo would only come with five doors.
The Polo, which VW has been building for four decades, was Europe's No. 4-selling vehicle last year, only trailing the VW Golf, Ford Fiesta and Renault Clio, according to data from JATO Dynamics.
With the launch of the new-generation Clio in late 2012, Renault decided to discontinue the three-door variant and only offer the car with five doors.
Wolfsburg-based VW is shrinking the number of parts and dropping unprofitable models such as the Eos hardtop convertible as it aims to boost cost savings at the VW brand, its biggest division by sales and deliveries, to 5 billion euros ($5.5 billion) a year by 2017.
To help profits, VW is also increasingly relying on the gradual adoption of its MQB modular platform for building a wide range of cars. The Polo, which received its mid-term facelift in 2014, is not yet based on MQB.
"We are on track with our efficiency program," VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said this week at the Geneva auto show.
A VW spokesman said "there are no decisions yet" on future lineups of the Polo and Beetle models.
Germany's Spiegel magazine reported plans to cease three-door Polos earlier on Friday, saying this would save VW 200 million euros.
The Beetle, last overhauled in 2011, could also be discontinued, Spiegel said, without citing the source of the information.
VW works council chief Bern Osterloh in January called on management to tackle the costly proliferation of models and parts at the VW brand, saying there was potential to cut costs by "substantially more" than the planned 5 billion euros.