Volkswagen Confirms Midsize SUV for 2016
New Model Fills Major Hole in VW's Lineup
Volkswagen has made no secret of its global and North American sales ambitions, and 2013 was somewhat of a disappointment, with sales of the Passat sedan down significantly for the year. But Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn promises the pieces are falling into place to make VW a more formidable competitor in the North American market in the years ahead.
One of the most critical pieces missing from VW's North American product portfolio has been a mainstream, midsize SUV. The Touareg, although midsize dimensionally, is decidedly premium in its pricing and positioning, and not a direct competitor to some of the volume players in the segment such as the Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, and Nissan Pathfinder.
That will change in 2016 with the introduction of a seven-passenger, three-row Volkswagen SUV specifically for the North American market. The CrossBlue concept shown at last year's Detroit show is believed to be a fairly accurate preview of the production model's styling and packaging. It's believed the three-row SUV will be manufactured at VW's Chattanooga plant where the North American Passat sedan is built, although VW has not made an official announcement on the production site.