Volkswagen Group mulls tripling the SUV lineup of its core brand as part of its bid to dethrone Toyota as the leader in global sales, two people privy with the matter told Bloomberg. The brand currently offers the large Touareg and compact Tiguan SUVs, and plans to launch at most four more in the next few years.
PwC estimates the demand for SUV to continue to grow in coming years, from 18 percent of global product in 2012 to 20 percent by 2018. SUVs could be the key for the VW brand to grow in the United States.
Its current focus is on traditional cars like the Golf hatchback and Passat sedan, but lags big time in the US due to lack of SUV offerings, something which its competitors have plenty. Roman Mathyssek, an analyst for Strategy Engineers, remarked that the SUV segment is still growing globally, and has become a key segment for all carmakers.
He noted that the VW brand still has the potential to grow in SUVs, which should help it to establish a stronger position in the US and in emerging markets. VW plans to update the Tiguan into a lighter SUV in 2015 to cut its fuel consumption, the sources said.
They added that the carmaker is also developing a coupe version and longer variant of the Tiguan. The German carmaker may also develop a subcompact crossover that bears the attributes of an SUV and traditional car.
VW could choose between the Taigun and T-Roc prototypes it unveiled at recent auto shows for the subcompact crossover, the sources said. VW will offer a midsize SUV based on the CrossBlue concept set to arrive in the US in 2016.
The carmaker, however, has yet to decide where to build the midsize SUV as it is still considering incentives offers from the governments of Mexico and Tennessee, one source told Bloomberg.
Increasing its SUV lineup will allow VW to better compete with Toyota, which boasts of seven SUVs in its lineup, the RAV4 and the Land Cruiser. General Motors Co., boasts of 14 SUVs, like the Buick Encore and the GMC Yukon XL Denali.