In a bid to rationalize its vehicle lineup and control costs, Volkswagen's British outpost is taking a massive axe to its range, culling dozens of models and options from its order books. With in excess of 10,000 different build combinations and pressures to streamline their operations, VW has resorted to nixing entire trim levels, colors, options in an effort to simplify its offerings.

Models that have seen their final days on UK shores include the 4.2-liter V8 short-wheelbase Phaeton, the Polo in 1.4-liter TDI E, S, SE and Sport variants, and the Touran in 2.0-liter FSI 150 SE trim. Newer models like the Eos, Touareg, Jetta, and Fox have been spared.

The company promises that existing owners of discontinued models will not have any service or parts issues as a result.

While Autoblog has yet to confirm if mainland Europe is similarly affected, we would be surprised if similar measures weren't taken there as well. Will U.S. lineups receive a similar once-over? Nothing is certain, but VW's U.S. lineups have a far more abbreviated lineup of vehicles and trims on offer, particularly in areas of drivetrain options. If company officials do seek to lessen the number of build combinations, expect changes to be wrought with a far lighter hand.

[Sources: AutoExpress UK; VW-Resource.com]