Volkswagen AG chief executive Martin Winterkorn has reiterated the carmaker's commitment to selling a mid-sized sports utility vehicle in the United States. During a closed-door meeting with the brand's US dealers, Winterkorn said VW needs to and will take initiative in the mid-sized SUV segment of the US vehicle market, according to a transcript of his remarks viewed by Automotive News.
Winterkorn's statement is a clear sign that VW is nearing a decision to produce an SUV larger than the current Tiguan and less expensive than the Touareg. The Volkswagen brand is targeting to sell 800,000 vehicles annually in the US by 2018, nearly twice its sales in 2012. Members of the VW's executive board told Automotive News in March 2013 that a business plan for an SUV was in development.
The members added that there is still room to build an assembly line for the SUV at VW's assembly site in Chattanooga. At the meeting, Winterkorn brought with him the three-row, seven-seat CrossBlue SUV Concept that the carmaker unveiled at the 2013 Detroit auto show.
It also brought the five-seat CrossBlue Coupe SUV Concept that was shown at the 2013 Shanghai auto show. US dealers have been clamoring for years for such SUV that would be another volume model that would go along with mass-market sedans such as the Jetta and Passat.