Tiguan Klassisch? Old Model to Stay as VW Looks to Flesh Out SUV Offerings
You’ll have a choice of Tiguans after the newly enlarged 2018 model goes on sale. As it looks for ways of diversifying its utility vehicle lineup in the U.S., Volkswagen will have the old compact crossover soldier alongside its updated, three-row successor.
The company has listed SUVs as the central pillar of its new American product strategy, but coming up with new models isn’t easy for a car-centric company that’s low on cash. Satisfying the public’s seemingly insatiable demand for mobile cargo space requires a solid plan, and VW thinks it has one.
At last week’s Geneva Motor Show, VW North American Region CEO Hinrich Woebcken laid out the next steps. Diesels are out, but that’s not news — Woebcken said last fall that he saw no future for the technology in America. The brand’s four and six-cylinder gas engines will have to carry the utility burden.
“We’re currently at 12% and the industry is nearly 60% light trucks and SUVs, so we are severely underrepresented,” he told reporters.
The first page of VW’s plan involves keeping the smallish current-generation Tiguan around as an entry-level crossover. Given that its seven-seat successor has grown nearly 11 inches in wheelbase, the two models won’t exactly trip over each other’s toes. A price cut — something VW hasn’t mentioned — would increase the gap.
While the premium Touareg will remain in the stable, demand calls for another large crossover. The automaker might produce a new CUV from the Atlas’ platform, Woebcken said. Last year, Matthias Erb, chief engineering officer for VW in North America, mentioned that a five-seat version of the Atlas could help the model cover more ground.
“It’s possible that the Atlas could sport two wheelbase lengths in the future,” he claimed. Woebcken’s remarks imply VW is proposing an entirely new model, in addition to a possible short-wheelbase Atlas.
One thing VW won’t do is go the Honda route. There’s no enthusiasm in Wolfsburg to offer a unibody Ridgeline fighter, Woebcken said.
Volume is key, but the company still needs a product that links to memories of a happier past. Because of this, the endangered Beetle won’t see an execution. The world needs smiles, it seems.
“This is typical with emotional products that peak early and then wind down. It is an emotional car, not a real family car so the numbers are limited,” Woebcken said. “But there still is a huge community out there that still loves the car. We’re going to continue bringing out special editions to keep that product fresh.”
[Source: Wards Auto]
This article first appeared on thetruthaboutcars.com
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