Volkswagen to Give New Midsize SUV “American-Style” Name
Home Office Giving Unusual Autonomy to American Unit in Naming
The 2012 Volkswagen Passat midsize sedan was a major turning point for the company in that it was one of its first models designed for a specific region, rather than a global product. The U.S.-spec Passat differs significantly from its global counterpart, being larger and less premium than the Euro-spec model. VW’s second major market-specific product for North America, its three-row midsize SUV, will reportedly break from company convention even further by adopting an “American-style” name, rather than a more “global” nameplate, as has been the norm to date, Automotive News reports.
Hinrich Woebcken, CEO of Volkswagen North America, said the SUV will have a “bullish, much easier to pronounce, American-style” name. VW’s other current SUV offerings, have the unusual spellings and pronunciations of Tiguan and Touareg, respectively. Woebcken said the new model would not necessarily stick to the “T” naming convention for SUVs, either.
The newly formed North American unit, which Woebcken heads, is being given a greater level of autonomy than has been typical for Volkswagen, which has traditionally kept most product planning, engineering, and marketing activities centered in Germany. Many see the devolution of responsibilities to the North American unit as VW’s tacit acknowledgement that it has been out-of-touch with American consumers’ needs and desires over the last few years. The new SUV is expected to be revealed at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Source: Automotive News