Volkswagen hasn’t given up on its plans to become the world’s biggest automaker and for that it needs to sell more cars in the U.S. The Germans want to triple their American sales in the next seven years and one solution is to expand their SUV line-up in order to catch up to GM and Toyota.
“We will be looking to really grow, particularly in the compact SUV segment”, VW's U.S. chief Jonathan Browning told Bloomberg news. “Over time, I think there's also scope for growth in terms of a larger SUV within the portfolio”.
Volkswagen sold 20,946 Tiguans and 4,713 Touaregs in the U.S. last year, which is insignificant compared to the total of 3.3 million SUVs delivered in the country.
“VW is simply not a player in the American SUV segment”, said Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany. “Their models aren't being recognized as sufficiently competitive”.
The automaker is exploring other means to increase its sales as well, one of them being the all-new New Mid-Size Sedan (NMS), which is set to debut at this year’s North American International Auto Show.
The yet to be named model will be assembled at the company’s new factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with deliveries programmed to start in the third quarter of 2011.
By Csaba Daradics