VW Is Working On An American-Sized SUV
When I was still working for Volkswagen, I blatantly picked up the delegations from Wolfsburg in my Eddie Bauer Expedition when they arrived at JFK. The higher paygrades were already used to it. The lower paygrades inevitably asked: “Why don’t you drive a Touareg?” While bouncing down the Van Wyck, I inevitably shouted “Silence in the third row! The Touareg doesn’t even have a third row. If I had a Touareg, you’d be sitting in a taxi.”
Soon I’d run out of excuses: If Germany’s AUTO BILD and the DetN are correctly informed, then Volkswagen will get a big SUV – big enough for Americans, even for those with a smaller wallet.
“Volkswagen, which is outpacing the U.S. auto market after launching new cars designed for American drivers, is studying the possibility of adding to its lineup a sport utility vehicle that seats seven,” writes the DetN. Their Christine Tierney heard it from VWoA’s CEO Jonathan Browning, who promised that the bigger SUVW “would cost more than the Tiguan SUV but less than the Touareg, which starts at $44,000.” Thierney thought she had a scoop. But Browning didn’t divulge big secrets.
Two weeks ago, Germany’s usually well informed AUTO BILD said that the new Passat generation, due in 2014, will not just get the usual sedan and wagon. It also will get a coupe, a convertible, and “an SUV – made in USA.” Says AUTO BILD:
“They are thinking about an SUV for 2016. It is supposed to be produced in Chattanooga, based on the US-Passat. On paper, the seven-seater is 5 meters long, longer than the Touareg.”
More room for less money: Even export to Germany would make financial sense, says AUTO BILD. And showed a photoshopped picture of what the bigger truck could look like.
Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.
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