No - not an April 1 or Easter jest. In the autumn of 2009, the VW Golf VI will also head stateside, thus sending the Rabbit into retirement. The American Rabbit has finally run its course and is being sent to the big bunny hatch in the sky.
It was in the year 1978 that the first Golf started hopping between the big U.S. cruisers on American highways. The little German with the fun name Rabbit was well received in the States. Oddly enough, it was then castrated for three generations and had to tote the Golf badge on its fur. Maybe this was a reason for the Americans falling out of love with the car during this period. The clear solution was to give animal lovers their long-eared friend back in its fifth generation and an extensive advertising campaign in 2006 heralded the revival of the Rabbit.
Suddenly though, the pet owners stood on their brakes and hopped back to the Golf. Thus the presentation of the Golf VI at the New York International Auto Show from the 10th to 19th of April 2009 - hardly three years after the advertising extravaganza - will see VW now retiring the Rabbit. The justification given by Wolfsburg is that the Volkswagen Golf is the highest selling world brand with over 26 million units sold in over 120 countries. Changing back to the Golf brand is a key step in the new direction of the global Volkswagen heritage. But who knows: If the new Golf is not a hit in the States, can we expect its retired predecessor to still be ready for breeding and to bounce back?