Car models disappearing due to new cyber safety requirements

New cybersecurity rules in the EU have left car manufacturers no choice but to discontinue some models with no direct replacement.

Stricter EU rules for car cyber safety apply from the 7th of July, and some car models are already disappearing from the market without direct successors, German news agency dpa reports.

Several carmakers, including Porche and VW, are thinning their model ranges, and some models can no longer be ordered. Among the affected models are VW Up, Transporter T6.1, Porsche Macan, Cayman, and Boxer.

A VW spokeswoman confirmed that the Up model hasn’t been produced since November last year, and deliveries of the last vehicles will continue until the middle of the year. WV distribution website also reveals that the popular Transporter T6.1 can no longer be ordered.

“All vehicles that can be built by the end of June have long since had a buyer,” the spokeswoman explained. “We are completely sold out.”

A new cybersecurity regulation, UNECE R 155, comes from the United Nations and requires carmakers to introduce safeguards against hackers.

According to the new requirements, car manufacturers must establish and certify a cyber security management system (CSMS), which handles risk management, covers the whole vehicle development process, monitors for known attacks, identifies new threats, develops defense measures, and distributes updates. It also must cover their suppliers.

Retrofitting older models to comply with new requirements is too expensive. Stefan Bratzel from the Center of Automotive Management (CAM) in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, estimated that the cost per model would be in millions.

Other European car makers are discontinuing some models without attributing it to the new ruling. Audi has phased out its TT sports and closed order books for R8 sports cars. Mercedes-Benz will stop producing the two-seater Smart EQ Fortwo, and Renault will no longer produce the electric Zoe.

Estimates by consulting firm McKinsey & Co. revealed that automaker spending on cybersecurity, partially because of regulations, will increase from $4.9 billion in 2020 to $9.7 billion in 2030, corresponding to annual growth of more than 7 percent.

The US, according to the WSJ, isn’t a party to the UN rules. However, American carmakers will need to respect the new requirements to continue selling cars in the participating countries.