Volkswagen is adding as well as dropping some models in its product lineup for the United States market as the German carmaker tries to back up its SUV offensive in the country. Hans-Jakob Neusser, VW’s development chief, said during the Detroit auto show last week that the carmaker was nearing decision to build the 395-hp Golf R400 Concept unveiled at the Beijing auto show in April 2014.
Michael Horn, chief executive of Volkswagen of America, remarked that they are conducting a feasibility study for a new van for the US, which could be the next-generation Crafter.
The Crafter is a commercial van now derived from the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter that Daimler has built for Volkswagen. Another possibility would be the Caddy small van underpinned by a version of the MQB platform that also underpins compact vehicles like the Golf.
Horn said during a roundtable at the Detroit auto show he believes that VW should “do something” based on the MQB technology that carmaker already has in the market.
Once green-lighted by the top men in Germany, those products would further VW’s planned SUV-crossover offensive in the US. The offensive will be headlined by a locally built midsize crossover that will be rolled out in the first quarter of 2017. It will be followed by a long-wheelbase redesigned Tiguan compact crossover in the second quarter.
Horn remarked that the hike in SUV and crossover sales in the US indicates that the market would support further products from Volkswagen. But first, according to Horn, VW has to make the two core models right -- the Tiguan and the midsize SUV. After that there will be room for derivatives. [source: automotive news - sub. required]