By on August 29, 2017

Der neue Volkswagen T-Roc - Image: VolkswagenNot only is Volkswagen’s recently unveiled T-Roc subcompact crossover destined to avoid U.S. shores, Volkswagen’s Canadian dealers won’t be offering the T-Roc, either.

Revealed last week, we had always assumed the T-Roc was the logical next step for a Volkswagen brand that had suffered long and hard from a limited, delayed, premium SUV strategy in North America.

But it turns out Volkswagen of America will skip the T-Roc, likely in favor of a different small utility vehicle. So we asked Volkswagen Canada whether the T-Roc would arrive for the 2018 model year, the 2019 model year, or never at all.

Volkswagen’s response is the third option. “At least for now,” company spokesperson Thomas Tetzlaff tells TTAC.

Surely small-car-loving Canada — where the Honda Civic has been Canada’s top-selling car for 19 consecutive years and subcompact cars hold 19 percent more market share than they do in the U.S. — wants another subcompact crossover? Nah, not so much. Like Americans, Canadians haven’t fully latched onto the subcompact crossover, either. Not yet.

Largely on the basis of massive year-over-year growth from the Honda HR-V, Canadian sales of subcompact crossovers are up 13 percent this year. Of the 4,611 additional sales generated by the segment in 2017’s first seven months, 3,071 were of the Honda variety.

24 percent of the subcompact crossovers sold in Canada in 2017 have been HR-Vs. General Motors owns another 21 percent of the segment with the Encore and Trax.

With the America’s segment leader, the Jeep Renegade, failing to generate much Canadian attention and consequently elevate the segment as a whole, the subcompact crossover category garners the same amount of market share north of the border that it does south of the border: a tick over 3 percent.

Perpetually late to the game, Volkswagen’s entry into this sphere will be further delayed. The T-Roc, for reasons Volkswagen won’t share, is directed more specifically at Europe and China, markets that account for 80 percent of global subcompact crossover volume.

Holding the fort for the time being will be a carryover edition of the first-generation Tiguan known as the Tiguan Limited. With dimensions as suitable for the subcompact sector as the compact sector where the new Tiguan will do battle, the Tiguan Limited’s U.S. price cut places it squarely in the sights of vehicles such as the HR-V and Subaru Crosstrek, which is all new for the 2018 model year.

[Image: Volkswagen]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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13 Comments on “Confirmed: Volkswagen Canada Won’t Be Offering the T-Roc, Either...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Volkswagen *is* smarter than everyone else, that’s why.

  • avatar

    Is the subcompact CUV segment a dud? I thought the Renegade, Encore and Trax were supposed to be more successful than anyone outside of Fiat and Daewoo wanted to believe, and that the HR-V’s volume displaced Fit production from Mexico back to Japan.

    • 0 avatar

      They’re up 13% in Canada and 10% in the U.S. so far this year. If that’s your definition of a dud, well, maybe that’s something to work on.

      Subcompact SUVs registered the fastest rate of growth from among all non-premium SUV segments for the past four years. So far this year, they’re gaining faster than midsize SUVs, but not as fast as full size ones.

      The HR-V and the combined GM twins are both up over 15% in the U.S. thus far in 2017. Not all models are gaining, but the growth from these two (as well as the new Toyota entry) is enough to overcome those losing sales, such as the almost-dead Juke, the Mazda CX-3 and Fiat 500X.

      Its safe to say that the HR-V would be selling even better with more supply, and the same goes for the Toyota CH-R as production and shipments are still ramping up (even so, it began outselling the CX-3 in the 2nd quarter of this year).

  • avatar

    “The best way to grow our market share, is to not offer any vehicles that anyone wants, and the product we do offer, must be environmentally toxic or intermittently unreliable” – VW

    • 0 avatar

      “.. must be environmentally toxic, hilariously over-priced for their intended market, or intermittently unreliable (ideally a combination of all three)” – VW

      Fixed it for ya.

  • avatar
    Null Set

    I suspect they don’t have the coin to support a launch.

    • 0 avatar

      If Mazda could afford to launch the CX-3, I’m sure VW could as well, if they wanted to. After all, they can evidently afford to launch a replacement for the slow-selling, niche-market CC (the upcoming Arteon).

  • avatar

    Who cares I wouldn’t by a VW anyway :=)

  • avatar

    And the Mazda CX-3 that sells so poorly in the US outsells both the Encore and Trax individually in Canada and has 13% of the segment, about half of the dumpy HR-Z. It sells half as many as in the US in a market 10 times smaller. I just wish the beltline wasn’t so high – it feels like you’re sitting in a giant bucket of coal.

    Speaking of the HR-V, the XR-V version they flog in China actually looks half-decent without that pointless half-circle of gloom baked into each little HR-V plodder. I find it a vehicle that appeals to people of no imagination or aspiration for that matter. It’s white goods. At least it isn’t too low like the Civic.

  • avatar

    As soon as VW starts selling the Bully in the US, we’ll get a Transporter version, called the T-Ruc.
    That assumes, of course, that VW ever figures out what to do in the American auto market. That is scheduled to happen sometime between “heaven only knows” and “not on your life”.

  • avatar

    Good thing Canada has Sunnyvale Trailer Park with the modern rap stylings of J-Roc.

  • avatar

    “Holding the fort for the time being will be a carryover edition of the first-generation Tiguan known as the Tiguan Limited.”

    This will be available in the US only, not in Canada.

  • avatar

    I would never buy this, but the decision not to offer it in the US or Canada just seems ludicrous. There is no way this would not sell like hotcakes in either market.

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