Sad news for SA's petrolheads as the all-new Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI launch has been pushed back.
In a short announcement from Volkswagen South Africa, the brand confirmed the 8th generation of Golf GTI will only be launched to the SA market in the 3rd quarter of 2021.
Citing the global semiconductor chip shortage which is hampering all vehicles produced on the MQB platform and as a result, there simply won't be enough units to go around. “The Volkswagen Group has been impacted by the global shortage of the semiconductor chips and all vehicles built on the MQB platform have been affected. For this reason, the launch of the Golf 8 GTI in South Africa will now move to the third quarter,” said Steffen Knapp, Head of the Volkswagen Passenger Car Brand.
Volkswagen South Africa said vehicles will continue to arrive, and these will be stored ahead of the launch. “We are working closely with our German counterparts to ensure that we get as many Golf 8 GTI units for the local market as possible. A few Golf 8 GTI units started arriving in the country from mid-April. These units will be stockpiled until we have enough vehicles for the launch at the beginning of the third quarter,” added Knapp.
It's a sad situation but not unique to Volkswagen or South Africa. There've been many factories which have had to halt production or modify its model lineup to account for the reduced semiconductor availability. We think its a good strategy, as there's nothing worse than launching a car and not having stock to sell resulting in potentially hundreds of disgruntled customers who were ready to sign on the dotted line.
Volkswagen says its launch plans for the new Golf 8 GTI include a digital event and countrywide customer events which will allow enthusiasts to be among the first to experience the new GTI. South Africa is one of the largest markets for GTI outside of Europe and the previous generation model sold over 14 000 units since its introduction back in July 2013.
Customers who want to be kept informed on launch plans can visit the Volkswagen website: New golf GTI KMI (vw.co.za)