Five new models within 29 months will certainly give Volkswagen some serious metal in the automotive world’s highest-stakes game - that would be SUVs.
A perfect example is the all-new Tiguan which is now pitched into the mid-size SUV segment - a segment which is the biggest and fastest-growing with sales up 18 percent year-to-date.
But unfortunately for Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA), the star of the future SUVs - a vehicle larger than the current Touareg previewed by the CrossBlue concept and slated for North America and China (where it will wear the Teramont name), may not be launched here.
Speaking at the Tiguan launch earlier this week in Byron Bay, VGA chief Michael Bartsch confirmed his company had presented a strong case for the all-new large SUV, but, unfortunately, at this stage there are no plans for right-hand-drive (RHD) production.
Mr Bartsch revealed other RHD markets such as Britain and South Africa aren’t so keen on the vehicle and thus total RHD production plans may not reach the number required for economic viability.
A red light for this vehicle would be a setback for VGA but have no doubt: VGA’s new model pipeline is still ‘chockers’ with upcoming all-new SUVs.
Two vehicles at opposite ends of the design spectrum will open the batting in 2018 - a seven-seat version of the Tiguan called the XL and a radical compact SUV called T-ROC which is based on the T-ROC concept from Geneva two years ago and which may debut in production form at next week’s Paris Motor Show.
Also on the radar is an all-new Volkswagen SUV which follows the lead of Toyota Fortuner and Ford Everest by using a pickup/ute as its donor car - in this case the Volkswagen Amarok. Like the Ford and Toyota products, expect this one to cater to hard-core off-roaders and trailer towers.
And there is a glamorous coupe version of the Tiguan called Tiguan CC - only a four-seater, and not due for a while, VGA insiders rated its chances of coming to Australia at 50-50.
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