By on September 18, 2013

VW-Taigun-Concept-7

Volkswagen intends to sell a subcompact SUV in the United States by 2016 and there is a strong possibility that the vehicle will be assembled at VW’s Chattanooga, Tennessee facility. Marc Trahan, executive vice president of VW of America, told reporters at an Automotive Press Association event in Detroit.

 

Alternatively, the SUV could be produced in Mexico. The decision will be made in Wolfsburg. Trahan said that decision would be made by the end of the year. “For me, the answer is obvious, but we have to go through a pretty deliberative decision-making process,” Trahan said. “Additional product will go in [the Chattanooga plant]. It’s not a question of if. It’s a question of when and what.” VW has shown the Taigun, a small SUV concept that will go on sale in developing markets in 2016, but the automaker has previously indicated that it won’t be sold in North America.

Growth in the U.S. market is critical to VW’s plans to become the largest car company in the world and VW has expanded the Chattanooga facility to meet that growth. Trahan declined to comment on the UAW’s efforts to represent workers at the Tennessee facility.

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27 Comments on “VW Will Sell Small SUV In U.S. By 2016, May Be Built At Chattanooga...”


  • avatar
    Jimal

    2016? But VW needs a competitive CUV now. How about as a stop-gap they drop the TDI motor into the Tiguan?

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      What, and make the Tiguan even more expensive and non-competitive in the US market than it already is? Surely you jest!

      But in all seriousness, I think VWoA has struggled to find a packaging and pricing structure to make the car even the slightest bit profitable and competitive in the US market. The current Tig is simply too pricey to build and ship here to be sold competitively.

      They need this car *now*, not three years from now.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Isn’t this vehicle the Taigun? The smaller CUV they are rolling out soon. They said they weren’t bringing it here, but they don’t have another subcompact CUV.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          What does Volkswagen need with this vehicle? They already have the Tiguan, a practically-subcompact CUV that’s as uncompetitive as it is overpriced…and the Touareg, which is a downmarket Cayenne with a price tag to match. If Volkswagen really wants volume, it needs to hit the sweet-spot in the CUV market, which is the market for seven-seater CUVs that are based on mid/full-sized sedans. That would be the Hyundai Santa Fe (LWB), Kia Sorento, Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, etc. The prospective VW crossover can be based on the US-market Passat, but should employ higher-quality materials and not be priced out the wazoo relative to the competition (as is typically the case with non-budget Volkswagens).

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          I’d like to see them name it the Choo-Choo.

      • 0 avatar
        Jimal

        I don’t jest, and stop calling me Shirley.

        A TDI Tiguan would sell.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      Can’t offer TDI in the current Tiguan. It wasn’t designed to accommodate a urea tank, and it won’t pass the emissions tests without one.

  • avatar
    darex

    Only a fool believes any “promises” by VW. To wit, we still don’t have the Polo here.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      I don’t think they have ever promised that.

      Many requests on vwvortex, of course, but those really don’t count.

      • 0 avatar
        darex

        Sure they did!

        http://www.autoblog.com/2009/03/16/report-volkswagen-to-sell-two-versions-of-polo-in-u-s-in-2011/

        Things like this are the reason why I never believe anything VAG promises for our market. They typically get cold feet and cancel their plans.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    I was surprised how small the Tiguan is when seeing one up close. They want to go even smaller?

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      My guess is that this mystery CUV will end up being Tiguan-sized and likely named Tiguan here in the US. I would not be surprised at all to see VW leverage the new Puebla factory as well to bring us the new Golf-based MPVs to help fill in the product gaps as well.

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    An Amarok TDI is probably the only way I could see myself behind the wheel of a VW again.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    At what point do these cease being small CUVs and just get renamed 4-dr hatches? The thing pictured could fit in the same box as an 80′s Omni or Horizon, it just rides a smidgen higher.

    Is AWD capability a requirement for the CUV designation?

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      It seems to be whatever tha manufacturer wants to call it. There doesn’t seem to be any bright line that distinguishes car from truck, or CUV from hatchback (or station wagon), or whatever.

      It’s generally been true in the US that manufacturers have had an incentive to classify their vehicles as trucks whenever they could, because they were then not subject to the safety standards and CAFE requirements that cars are required to meet. I don’t know if that is still the case.

  • avatar
    OhioPilot09

    The new SUV is supposed to slot in between the Tiguan and Touareg…which right now has a pretty hefty $20K difference in starting price so probably a good choice. I know it will also be 3 rows…so maybe something that competes more directly with a Pilot level of car.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      That’s a pretty big *size* difference, too. The Tiguan is just about the smallest vehicle in its class and is practically a five-door hatchback, while the Touareg is X5/Cayenne/ML-sized. If you ask me (and you didn’t, but I’ll say this anyway), Volkswagen should go larger with a seven-seater SUV that uses Passat underpinnings and that is competitively priced.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Anything new will be MQB-based, and so will the next Passat.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          That’s just further reason for there to be a large VW crossover. Since it’s not a rugged CUV like the Touareg, the construction should be relatively simple, *especially* if it’s built on a modular platform. The main things for VW to get correct are features & utilities, and materials that would make the vehicle feel worth the price.

  • avatar
    snakebit

    Don’t know why they need to compete in this class. Looks like the VW answer to the Nissan Juke, nicer-looking but to me, Juke-like. Let’s build a more-affordable Tiguan, maybe just a little more loot than a CX-5 or Escape, but push the fact that it’s VW-quality.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      Bloomberg interpreted Trahan’s comments as “subcompact SUV”, and Automotive News picked that up.

      Reuter’s interpreted them as “7-passenger CUV”.

      Freep and DetNews interpreted them as “midsize SUV”.

      My take is that Trahan didn’t specify the type of vehicle, so imaginations are running wild, including talk about the Taigun.

  • avatar
    panayoti

    We’ve beaten this size/class/category thing to death and keep missing the obvious characteristic of all these CUV/SUV vehicles. That characteristic is sales. They all sell and sell well because they have one thing the automakers refuse to openly acknowledge. Cars are a dying breed which has been reflected in sales numbers over the last 20 years. CUV/SUV vehicles main attribute is utility. Package that with some comfort, ride height, ease of ingress/egress, throw in a touch of decent gas mileage and touch of quality and you have a sales winner.

    The automakers create a plethora of sizes, shapes, and configurations for the ever increasingly fickle American taste buds and sell millions of these rascals. The competition is very keen and no matter the size and capitalization of the companies making them, something different will always attract that new buyer. The current focus seems to be packaging more passengers and utility into smaller platforms. So Mini, Fiat, Nissan, and Mitsu are leading the way with their new sardine can versions. Small wonder VW is talking about a new smaller footprint vehicle to bring here. Since their main goal is to become #1 worldwide, no one should be surprised that they don’t want to surrender that small sliver of sales to anyone. Vive la difference!!

  • avatar
    RHD

    This thing closely resembles the ’74 to ’79 Honda Civic CVCC coupe, but on silly 17″ wheels. Not much sporting about it, or utility, either, for that matter.

    Ah, VW, we already had a first-generation Toyota RAV4. You’re a little late to the party.


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