VW Is Working On An American-Sized SUV

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

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
Bertel Schmitt

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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  • Philadlj Philadlj on Aug 24, 2011

    If they can out-Traverse the Traverse (no other large wagon has quite the same magic combo of car-like manners, 8 seats and tons of space), I think they'll be sittin' pretty. They should name it after an obscure wind, like Tehuano (southern Mexico) or Sundowner (Calfornia coast), naturally offer a TDI, and offer as much or more space and versatility as the λ CUVs.

    • See 2 previous
    • Brian E Brian E on Aug 24, 2011

      Guy 1: "So I was driving my Tehuano on the 101 the other day when I got passed by a Huayra..." Guy 2: "Are you gonna puke on me or what?"

  • Blowfish Blowfish on Aug 24, 2011

    Just make sure the GVWR is rated over 6000 lbs so this pig can be tax deducted…. how that6000lbs gvwr works? Here in Vancouver if reg as 5001 kg then one can be excempted from AIRCARE aka Emission Nazi , it can be a PITA.

    • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Aug 24, 2011

      In the US, if it is over 6000 lbs, due to a loophole in our tax code intended for farm vehicles and contractors, it may be deducted at a far greater rate than a "regular car". This is why you see the big fat "luxury trucks" for folks who in a normal world would drive a Caddy, a Lincoln, or E or 7 Class. The Truck is very deductible and the car is not. If you run your own business, the difference is huge, and makes the truck a smarter buy, even factoring in gas consumption (also deductible). That it is environmentally stupid to pay folks to drive way bigger cars than they need is irrelevant. I'm just jealous that Acura only put the GVWR of my MDX at 5900. They fixed this in later years, no doubt realizing they lost sales because of it, and adjusting a few hundred pounds on a sticker is trivial. I also find it interesting that often, only the fully optioned up versions of the XC90, and others, get over that magic 6000 lb rating. If I recall, you can only take $3000 per year for a car, but $25,000 in the first year for the truck-if you live in a world of pre tax and post tax income, it is really a "no brainer". There are lists of cars, er, trucks, "that qualify" all over the interwebs.

  • Wjtinfwb Funny. When EV's were bursting onto the scene; Tesla's, Volt's, Leaf's pure EV was all the rage and Hybrids were derided because they still used a gas engine to make them, ahem; usable. Even Volt's were later derided when it was revealed that the Volt's gas engine was actually connected to the wheels, not just a generator. Now, Hybrids are warmly welcomed into the Electric fraternity by virtue of being "electrified". If a change in definition is what it takes, I'm all for it. Hybrid's make so much sense in most American's usage patterns and if needed you can drive one cross-country essentially non-stop. Glad to see Hybrid's getting the love.
  • 3-On-The-Tree We also had a 1973 IH Scout that we rebuilt the engine in and it had dual glass packs, real loud. I miss those days.
  • 3-On-The-Tree Jeff thanks. Back in 1990 we had a 1964 Dodge D100 with a slant six with a 3 on the tree. I taught myself how to drive a standard in that truck. It was my one of many journeys into Mopar land. Had a 1973 Plymouth duster with a slant six and a 1974 Dodge Dart Custom with 318 V8. Great cars and easy to work on.
  • Akear What is GM good at?You led Mary............................................What a disgrace!
  • Randy in rocklin I have a 87 bot new with 200k miles and 3 head gasket jobs and bot another 87 turbo 5 speed with 70k miles and new head gaskets. They cost around 4k to do these days.