Volkswagen brand is repositioning the Polo subcompact to appeal to younger buyers, abandoning an approach in which its No. 2-selling vehicle was a catch-all model for customers who couldn't afford the larger Golf compact.
"The Polo's image invoked price stability, quality and durability, but it wasn't considered chic. Younger buyers want a more expressive car," said Dirk Weinerowski, the Polo's product manager for sales.
VW brand sales and marketing chief Juergen Stackmann played a key part in the Polo's new positioning. He insisted that the car should no longer be positioned as a smaller version of the Golf, VW's top-seller, which is designed to appeal to a broad range of buyers. Instead, Stackmann wanted to focus the car around one guiding customer profile – "young, female, just graduated and looking to purchase her first new car," Weinerowski said.
The Polo is a big beneficiary of VW Group's MQB common architecture that debuted with the seventh-generation Golf. The modular construction gave engineers access for the first time to technology that previously was reserved only for larger vehicles. The platform, which is used in its MQB-A0 version by the Polo and also by other VW Group models such as the new Seat Ibiza, has the scale to make expensive safety and comfort equipment affordable in the subcompact class.