VW CEO Re-Confirms Midsize SUV for the U.S.

Could join Jetta and Passat as third volume model.

With the 2014 Jetta and Passat sedans, Volkswagen has been going more mainstream to better appeal to the U.S. market. This strategy has largely worked considering VW’s recent uptick in sales, and according to a report from Automotive News, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has confirmed plans that a new Volkswagen midsize SUV is definitely bound the U.S. market.

Expect this SUV to look similar to the CrossBlue concept from this year’s Detroit auto show, which was a handsome, three-row SUV with clean lines inspired by the Passat. Although it is unclear on which platform this SUV would be based – it could use the American Passat’s underpinnings or a stretched version of the MQB matrix from the Golf – VW officials told us that the German automaker’s plant in Chattanooga, TN, is one of the plants in consideration to build the new SUV. The Chattanooga plant currently produces the Passat midsize sedan, so we would not be surprised if the new SUV was a crossover sharing a basic platform with the Passat.

This could mean that a new VW SUV would compete in the large crossover segment which includes the 2013 Ford Explorer, the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder, the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse, and the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, which won our recent comparison test of three-row crossovers.

VW’s current SUV offerings include the 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan compact crossover and the 2013 Volkswagen Touareg, a more upscale two-row SUV. This new SUV, which would likely fit in between the two existing models price-wise, could be instrumental in achieving the VW brand’s target of 800,000 sales in the U.S. by 2018. The VW brand sold 438,133 vehicles in the U.S. in 2012, a significant increase from 2011’s 324,402 sales. The current best-selling VW model is the Jetta sedan, and AN reports that dealers have long been asking for an SUV to become a third volume model for the brand.

Source: Automotive News