Volkswagen’s board is set to decide whether to transfer the production of the Tiguan compact crossover in North America to reduce costs, according to German magazine WirtschaftsWoche, citing sources in management. Other models that Volkswagen assembles in North America include Jetta and Passat cars.
Currently, Volkswagen builds the Tiguan only in the Wolfsburg plant in North Germany. Analysts say that by moving the production to the U.S. and using local parts suppliers, the company will be able to protect itself from exchange rate fluctuations.
VW will also be able to price the Tiguan more competitively if it’s built in North America. Another advantage is that by building the cars in the U.S., the company will be able to monitor the changes in the trends. This is where trends frequently originate.
Volkswagen has recently opened a $1 billion U.S assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. — part of VW’s strategy to take over Toyota’s position as the world's largest automaker.
The Tennessee plant is expected to produce 150,000 vehicles annually by 2012. The magazine said that it’s uncertain if the Tiguan will be built in the new plant. The 2012 Passat car is already being produced there. Volkswagen has yet to comment on this report.
While the on-road and off-road versions of the new Tiguan are differentiated by the new styling, both models inherit the so-called Volkswagen Design DNA that features clear horizontal lines. The new Tiguan now features a grille with two double chrome louvers, just like that on the Touareg SUV. Featured as standard are xenon headlights which have daytime running lights formed by a band of 14 integrated LEDs. Customers could make the Tiguan more distinctive by availing of the optional bi-xenon headlights with masked main beam (Dynamic Light Assist).
On the other hand, the on-road model of the Tiguan is built as a front-wheel drive vehicle with a front overhang angle of 18 degrees that lends the SUV with an urban front end. Located below the painted bumper of the on-road Tiguan is a broad grille flanked by two smaller openings that house the front fog lights. The front end of the new Tiguan is completed by a rugged black front spoiler on the lower section. Customers may opt to power the on-road Tiguan with a TSI engine that provides 90 kW (122 PS) or a PDI powerplant that generates 81 kW (110 PS).
The base version of this Tiguan is dubbed as "Trend & Fun," while the higher-end variant is named "Sport & Style." On the other hand, the off-road model of the new VW Tiguan features a front overhang angle of 28 degrees, allowing it to handle almost any off-road hurdles. This capability is further helped with an underbody protection that makes sure the powertrain components are out of harm’s way. Moreover, VW designed the central air intake to be very flat, thereby augmenting underbody protection.
Just like on the on-road version, the bumper of the off-road model is bordered by the protected integrated fog lights. In addition, grey underbody protection – featuring three unique openings -- is flanked by black air-flow guides. Built to feature 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive, the off-road Tiguan is offered in two versions – the base "Track & Field" and the higher-end "Track & Style."
On the other hand, all Tiguan versions have a rear overhand angle of 25 degrees, which can be reduced by vehicle payload. Its posterior end is marked by the redesigned two-part rear lights, which has a lower border that consistently follows a horizontal line. This layout results to a much cleaner design on the C-pillar area, thereby giving the entire rear end of the Tiguan a higher-end appearance.
Meanwhile, the side profile of the new Tiguan is marked by a clear and dynamic design that incorporates taut yet modestly trimmed wheel housings, unique door and wing surfaces, characteristic C-pillars and a window line rising towards the rear. To further set apart the new VW Tiguan from its predecessor, it comes available with a range of new alloy wheels. In Germany, the "Trend & Fun" and "Track & Field" versions feature 16-inch "Portland" alloy wheels as standard, while the Tiguan "Sport & Style" and "Track & Style" models are specified with 17-inch "Philadelphia" alloy wheels.