Volkswagen partially answered one of its biggest questions today, with an announcement that a new mid-size SUV for the American market is in the pipeline.
The announcement is expected to be made official later today, as part of a broader plan to build a new Audi factory in Mexico and refresh VW’s lineup in Brazil. Along with the product announcements, Bloomberg is reporting that VW is on track to deliver 10 million vehicles in 2014, well head of VW’s initial forecasts.
But the success comes at a price: VW’s plans for the American market have been a major disappointment, with continuously sliding sales even as the American market hits record volumes. The new SUV is a major cornerstone for VW’s plans in America, as it competes in one of the biggest market segments, but dealers will have to wait years for its introduction.
Also left unresolved was its production site. The recent battle over whether or not the UAW could organize VW’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant was supposed to have resolved the matter, but warring factions on both sides failed to provide a clear resolution. VW supervisory board officials said that a “No” vote to the UAW would put the SUV in jeopardy, while Tennessee state officials said that a “Yes” vote would mean an end to subsidies slated for plant expansion for the SUV. The SUV’s placement at Chattanooga could expand capacity from 150,000 to 500,000 units, but VW could also decide to build it in Mexico.