Volkswagen will reveal a new five-seat SUV at next month’s Detroit Auto Show, a new report out of the US claims.
According to business paper Reuters, unnamed insiders have revealed the concept will be a version of the larger seven-seat model already confirmed for production in 2016.
That model, likely based on last year’s CrossBlue concept, is expected to enter the US market as a companion to the next Touareg - suggesting that the concept we’ll see in Detroit next month could be our first look at the Touareg.
It is possible however that Volkswagen’s Detroit concept will instead be related to the midsized Tiguan, which, at three years older, will be due for replacement sooner than the large Touareg.
And, with the new SUV concept reportedly not expected to enter production until late in 2016, the Tiguan will be well past retirement age.
Still, there is no confirmation at this stage that the new concept will preview a replacement for either of those models, and we could yet see new-generation Tiguan and Touareg concepts appear at a European motor show in the coming year.
The push for new Volkswagen SUV models in the US comes in response to flagging sales, with the company’s focus on hatches, sedans and conventional wagons leaving it in a tough spot against a market in love with high-riding models.
The Amarok pickup is also not offered in the US, a factor which one spokesperson has highlighted as a contributor to Volkswagen’s 11 percent drop in sales across the US for 2014.
"We need more models there ... If we had a pick-up truck today, we would perhaps already be at 600,000 (vehicle sales),” Volkswagen labor representative Bernd Osterloh told Reuters earlier this month.
The carmaker’s American-market performance could soon see a change of fortunes however, with the carmaker ramping up its development spend to more than US$7 billion between now and the end of 2018 in a push to boost US sales to 800,000 cars per year.