By on October 25, 2018

Image: VW

The world needs to adopt North America’s penchant for high-riding SUVs if Volkswagen has any hope of building a clean, green, safe future for your kids. That’s basically the message coming from the automaker, which wants 50 percent of its global product mix to be made up of crossovers and SUVs by 2025.

High-margin SUVs will bolster the brand’s business, the company says, helping bring in the cash needed to eventually take your internal combustion engine and steering wheel away.

It’s a similar product/planning strategy underway at BMW, which recently launched the massive X7 to help expand its line of electric cars. Judging by a flurry of model trademarks (X8, X9), Bimmer’s got other large, multi-cylinder vehicles on the way.

VW made its cargo-happy declaration at the overseas launch of the tiny T-Cross crossover, a Polo-based vehicle slotting below the T-Roc on the utility ladder.

“SUVs are becoming increasingly popular with our customers throughout the world,” said Jürgen Stackmann, the Volkswagen board member responsible for sales. “This is why we are consistently pursuing our current SUV offensive. It will be a key contribution to strengthening our core business so that we can invest the necessary billions of euros in mobility and autonomous driving. The T-Cross rounds off our SUV family in the rapidly growing small SUV market.”

The recent global launch of the larger, redesigned Tiguan led to boffo sales, while North American and Chinese customers now enjoy the identical three-row Atlas and Teramont, respectively. Europeans just received a new, range-topping Touareg. A new, smaller crossover is due in our market before too long, as is a sportier, two-row Atlas variant.

As it continues its SUV offensive on the global stage, the brand holds equally lofty expectations for its looming I.D. electric car line. VW hopes to sell 1 million EVs by 2025. The two product plans make for strange bedfellows, though they’re married by money. EVs aren’t known for their generous margins, and development costs are sky-high. Throwing a number of different-sized bodies onto the MQB platform will deliver the cash needed to get the I.D.s, later EVs, and futuristic self-driving vehicles off the ground, VW hopes.

In the U.S., utility vehicles made up 40.2 percent of Volkswagen’s September sales volume. Even the American market isn’t American enough for VW at this point.

[Image: Volkswagen of America]

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24 Comments on “Volkswagen Wants the World to Buy Like Americans...”


  • avatar
    bobmaxed

    No way. I’m glad the majority of my car purchasing days are behind me.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Well they shouldn’t. These gas guzzling, giant vehicles are ill-suited for European style narrow streets and roads, and their propensity towards efficiency and minimizing environmental footprint. I can only hope that they don’t Ford and that they continue to sell fun and appropriate vehicles such as the Golf (which I hear with some distress will grow larger in it’s next incarnation).

    • 0 avatar
      SD 328I

      They are though, just not giant versions we have here. Mid, small and compact crossovers are the biggest gainers in sales in Europe and Asia.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        SD 328i,
        I agree with you. Even in the EU CUVs are fast becoming popular. Here in Australia CUVs are extremely popular. I’d hazard to guess that SUV wagons (proper SUV, hi/low with real off road creed) are more popular than in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Please spare us the forced sanctimony and double standards. I’m sure if VW had announced a fleet of equally “ill-suited” sedans you wouldn’t bat an eye. Plus let’s not pretend like equally “ill-suited” sedans like the E-Class, 5-Series and others weren’t designed in and for Europe, being used as cabs, govt vehicles and the like.

      VW hasn’t pulled back its commitment to small cars… as you said they just refreshed the Golf, and they still sell the Polo, UP! and other small vehicles I’m probably forgetting.

      Not to mention, for the end user, something like a Biguan is a much more efficient use of a footprint than the Passat, which it competes with on price. If you don’t like crossovers just say that… but don’t try to make the irrational sound rational

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        That is false. I have often complained about the length of many sedans, including the Accord, which is about 10% bigger than it should be. I also lamented the Golf getting bigger in this very post.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Ford just launched an all-new Focus in Europe, as well as an all-new Fiesta last year.

      How many times must it be said? Ford is only ending car sales in our market as our market is more rapidly turning their backs on them.

      And yes, all these new utilities are huge, get 12 MPG and actively club baby seals whenever they can.

      • 0 avatar
        Zipster

        Taurus:

        Perhaps the smaller ones get more than 12 miles per gallon (the larger ones often do less than that in short trips) but take any car and make it a crossover and you will reduce gas mileage by 20-30%, or a ton or more of carbon dioxide a year. Volkswagen is taking a variant of the route Exon Mobil now regrets.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          20-30%? The gap isn’t that large anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            Zipster

            Why don’t you compare the mileages of the base car: Camry-Highlander, Accord-Pilot, Civic-CRV. Corolla-RAV4 and see what you get? Do you actually believe that the extra weight and height is free?

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Because people don’t cross shop Camrys and Highlanders. The platform is irrelevant. People shop on price, space and fuel economy. In that regard the midsize sedan and compact crossover are direct competitors.

          • 0 avatar
            Tennessee_Speed

            My 2019 Jetta gets between 42 and 47 mpg highway at 70 mph. That’s why I didn’t by the Tiguan which gets 27 mpg highway.

        • 0 avatar
          forward_look

          Compare two wheel drive versions if you want to complain about sedan vs. CUV.

          And the extra height is worth it if you can’t get in and out of it or sit for an extended period of time.

          Post your phone number and I’ll have my wife call you and gripe.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      How big of a footprint do you think SUVs/CUVs must be? They can be as wide or as narrow as any sedan, and often the equivalent-sized sedans are longer.

  • avatar
    raph

    Maybe Ford isn’t that dumb after all, unless of course the EV mobility future turns out to be hot air. However given major players in the industry pushing cuv/suv/truck sales to bump the bottom line it lends some credence to their plan which I think is what its been since they fired Fields.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    A company wants people to buy more high margin
    products?!

    Where did they find such experts?!

    And they must think we are extra stupid. “Yes, I bought my giant SUV to pay for Volkswagen electric self driving car research to save the planet!”

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Next, Versace calls for the world to embrace America’s love of sweatpants..

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    “SUVs are becoming increasingly popular with our customers throughout the world,” said Jürgen Stackmann, the Volkswagen board member responsible for sales.

    Yes, that certainly sounds just like “we wish other markets would buy utilities, because they’re only popular in North America now”.

    • 0 avatar
      forward_look

      Everybody else in non-‘Murica drives hatchbacks. Widen the roads and parking spaces and maybe they’d drive Excursions and Escalades??

      Ain’t happening.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Canada? Australia? New Zealand? UAE? Saudi Arabia? Oman? ……………………………..

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Ford doesn’t even sell the Excursion anymore, and VW doesn’t sell anything that big.

        Plus crossovers are becoming very popular across the globe.

        Let’s work harder at living up to the “Best & Brightest” title.

  • avatar

    Now I got it. Ford-Lincoln division of VAG will be tasked to be the main contributor to this goal. Thats why Ford cancelled all car models – VW forced their hand otherwise FMC would be on their own and not a part of cozy VAG family.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I would think that CUVs will eventually become more popular in the EU than in the US. My logic behind this is with the smaller footprinted EU vehicles a taller vehicle offering better interior space usage will become dominant.

  • avatar
    riggodeezil

    “It will be a key contribution to strengthening our core business so that we can invest the necessary billions of euros in mobility and autonomous driving.”

    This is sorta like McDonald’s saying that they need fat goober-pantloads to swallow heaps of their heart-clogging slime-burgers in order to develop healthy, nutritious alternatives for later on.


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