The $13K-$15K American compact market is going to get another player, as Automotive News [sub] reports that VW’s Polo is coming stateside. But VW won’t be selling the traditional Yaris-fighting small hatch version of the Polo here, says VOA CEO Stefan Jacoby. Instead VW is easing into the segment Toyota-style, offering an Echo-echoing four-door sedan version of the Polo alongside a “Polo Plus” mini MPV. “It’s more like a cross between a compact minivan and a hatchback. In other words, it’s more like the ,” says Jacoby of the “American fatty” version of the Polo. Expect the Polo to be built in Mexico in hopes of keeping the cost down, a consideration that takes on more importance thanks to VW’s decision to focus on the sedan/MPV approach. “We have to come in at the sweet spot of this market or else it makes no sense—and we come too close to the Jetta,” says Jacoby. So why sell a sedan at all? More importantly, why go with the cheap Hecho-En-Mexico approach when it prevents the US Polos from offering the real jewels of VW’s small-car portfolio: high-tech engines like its direct-injection, turbo- and super-charged 1.4 TFSI.
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