On the eve of the Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn has confirmed the imminent arrival of a new crossover. The model, previewed at the same show last year by the CrossBlue concept pictured here, will be unique to the North American market when it arrives here in 2016. The new three-row, seven-seat crossover is part of an ambitious expansion plan on the part of Volkswagen and Audi in North America, where the two brands aim to sell a million vehicles by 2018.

That's a mighty big increase over the 600,000 vehicles which the Volkswagen Group sold here last year, but it's moving in the right direction: That number is already a 100-percent increase of what it sold here just five years ago. At that rate, VW should have little trouble meeting its goals, particularly with the arrival of the new crossover and the introduction of Golf production at its assembly plant in Puebla, Mexico. Read the full statement below for more.
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WINTERKORN: "VOLKSWAGEN STAYING ON COURSE WITH QUALITATIVE GROWTH"
Jan 13, 2014

- CEO confirms midsize SUV for American market in Detroit
- Further momentum for US market with start of new Golf production in Puebla
- Group is to invest over US$7 billion in North America over the next five years
- Goal reaffirmed: One million vehicles from the Volkswagen and Audi brands to be sold per year in the US by 2018

Detroit / Wolfsburg, January 12, 2014 – "The Volkswagen Group is staying on course with qualitative growth." This was reaffirmed on Sunday in Detroit on the eve of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) by the CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, who announced a multi-billion dollar investment program in North America over the next five years. Furthermore, Winterkorn revealed that "Volkswagen's midsize SUV for America is on its way!" The CEO also reaffirmed the goal to sell one million vehicles from the Volkswagen and Audi brands per year in the US by 2018.

Winterkorn emphasized that the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand was today better positioned in the US than ever before, adding that the production start of the new Golf "made in North America" would give the Volkswagen brand a further boost. He underscored that the Golf had never been so innovative or so efficient: "The new Golf features the latest generation of our TSI and Clean Diesel engines as well as electric drive and plug-in hybrid technology." Production for the North American market of one of the most successful Volkswagen models begins this Tuesday, January 14, at the plant in Puebla, Mexico, with the market launch scheduled for the summer.

That is just one building block in a multi-billion dollar investment program the company is initiating for the region. According to Winterkorn: "As a Group we will be investing over seven billion dollars in North America over the next five years." Another element in the growth strategy is an attractive brand-new model designed specifically for North America. In the presence of 350 guests in Detroit, Winterkorn announced: "I'm delighted to confirm what so many have been waiting so long to hear: Volkswagen's midsize SUV for America is on its way." He stated that development work on the seven-seater had already begun and that the US market launch was scheduled for 2016.

In light of this, the CEO made it very clear the Group's plans remained unchanged: "We have set our goal: Volkswagen Group of America aims to sell one million Volkswagen and Audi cars per year in the US by 2018. We are taking up the challenge – with confidence, total commitment and the necessary staying power."

Winterkorn said the Volkswagen Group was now also a force to be reckoned with on the key US market, and cited the Group's success as evidence of this: "The Group has almost doubled unit sales in the US since 2008, setting a new record of over 600,000 deliveries in 2013."

He went on to say that in the premium segment in particular, there was already no getting past the Volkswagen Group in North America: "Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini – five of the strongest premium brands ever." Winterkorn commented that Audi had gone from record to record in the past 36 months and was now moving up another gear with models such as the Q3 and the A3 Sedan to be launched in the US this year as well as its own production plant in San José de Chiapa, Mexico. "And the Porsche legend in the US has never been stronger. Sales reached an all-time high of over 40,000 vehicles in 2013", Winterkorn said, adding that Porsche would be launching a promising new model with the new Porsche Macan.

"We want many more American drivers to feel at home with our Group brands and are working to achieve that with one hundred percent commitment and plenty of passion", Winterkorn said on the eve of North America's most prestigious auto show.


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  • 49 Comments
      no1bondfan
      • 11 Months Ago
      2016? What's the hurry? Why not just plan for a 7-seat CUV in 2022 and call it a day? For a brand that wants to expand sales dramatically, they sure show a complete lack of urgency. I would not be surprised if Tesla had a 7-seater out before these guys.
        razorpit
        • 11 Months Ago
        @no1bondfan
        2022 is the scheduled launch for their new mini van.
        pickles
        • 11 Months Ago
        @no1bondfan
        Tesla already has a 7 seater. The Model S can [sort of] seat 7. They'll even have an SUV which seats 7 by the end of 2014- and it will have gull-wing doors AND electric power. Maybe VW should just build wheelbarrows.
      foxtrot685
      • 11 Months Ago
      It already looks production ready anyway. Plant it on the USDM Passat platform, throw the 2.0 TSI/TFSI ( tune it for more torque) under the hood, optional 3.6 VR6, put a TDI in the lineup somewhere for good measure, 4-motion optional across the board, 6-speed auto's; rock and roll it on down the production line. What is the hold up??
      24994J
      • 11 Months Ago
      Geez, just do it already.
      Carl
      • 11 Months Ago
      Bring back the VW pickup truck line to fill the void left by Ford/Mazda since they discontinued the Ranger and the B series trucks!
      audisp0rta4
      • 11 Months Ago
      Take your time VW. In the meantime, America will continue to purchase Tahoes, Explorers, Durangos, Sequoias, Highlanders, Pilots and the like.
      Richard lane
      • 11 Months Ago
      VW microvan concept? How many years have we been hearing this?
      Richard lane
      • 11 Months Ago
      Great, another SUV for the Americans. VW just does not get it! What we really would like we can't have. What we want is: a simple van. Not the eurovan with the lame transmission. A Diesel engine with an interior that works like the vanagon and not have it cost $60,000! Duh!
      A P
      • 11 Months Ago
      What a total BS ass kissing write up. "but it's moving in the right direction:" WTF???? Notice how the "journalist" that wrote this typical AB garbage failed to talk about the HORRIBLE sales performance the past few months by VW? HEY NOAH JOSEPH, YOU SUCK. Either you are completely mis informed about the auto industry or you are a boot licking boob totally in the pocket of German ad dollars....which is it?
        AlBongo
        • 11 Months Ago
        @A P
        I would like to see you write an article. Idiot.
        Matt
        • 11 Months Ago
        @A P
        VW chose to ignore the US market (no CRV/RAV4 competitor, no 3-row, aging sedan/hatch lineup), so consumers ignored them back. It's not like they tried and fell short; they didn't even try. Once the Puebla plant is up and running and Chattanooga is churning out 3-row crossovers, VW will make a serious push in the US. Until then, they are just treading water in the US and letting Europe/China generate all their profits.
        Lachmund
        • 11 Months Ago
        @A P
        oh look, it's that old wannabe knowitall again.
      razorpit
      • 11 Months Ago
      Talk about being caught with your pants down and being too stupid to pull them back up. TWO YEARS FROM NOW they will have a 3-row SUV? This song and dance has been going on for over 4 years. VWAG are either arrogant pricks or idiots. Probably a little of both.
        AlBongo
        • 11 Months Ago
        @razorpit
        They are a lot smarter than you, let me tell you that. Besides, it is VW. They are allowed to be arrogant because they do good business and are well respected through out the world. But Yankees are not used to seeing quality so don't worry, they understand why you are being this ignorant.
          razorpit
          • 11 Months Ago
          @AlBongo
          Al do you pay attention to the sales numbers, or are you receiving checks from VW? No VW is not smarter than me, even Subaru is eating their lunch with the Outback. They have nothing but a Passat no one wants anymore and a Jetta that no longer appeals to the people who did "appreciate the German engineering." You are ignorant suggesting otherwise. I've been driving VW's since 1986. When my current Passat dies (145k miles) that's it, I'm done. They offer nothing to replace it. They already lost one sale when we bought a loaded Ford Edge for the price of a "nicely equipped" Tiguan. Would have rather had a Toureg but they're crazy expensive to purchase and even worse to maintain. It's bad when they service department tells you to stay away from them.
        Lachmund
        • 11 Months Ago
        @razorpit
        VW is known for taking a bit longer but then doing it right. nothing wrong abt that.
          razorpit
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Lachmund
          It's not like SUV's came out yesterday. And their track record as of late hasn't been impressive. Yes the EOS, Toureg, and Tiguan are nice but they are total sales losers. You need to sell a heck of a lot of Passat's and Jetta's to make up for those, and now that is starting to dry up. The GTI rocks, or so I read. We don't know yet here in the U.S. because they're taking their sweet bringing it over. Should I mention the Chrysler van? How many years did they have to come out with that? You still believing your story?
      Matt
      • 11 Months Ago
      Hope they offer it with the 3L diesel, and price it way below the Touareg. If they do, they'll have a winner.
      knightrider_6
      • 11 Months Ago
      "aim to sell a million vehicles by 2018" If last month's sales numbers are any indicative, it will take them 50-70 years to reach that goal.
        Matt
        • 11 Months Ago
        @knightrider_6
        The optimist would see they doubled their sales in 5 years despite the fact that they don't even compete in three of the most popular segments in the US (midsize crossover, 3-row crossover, and pickup trucks). Once they provide entries in the former 2 segments, it's not hard to see how 1 million US sales is achievable. You can't look at current sales; VW US is basically hibernating while it builds up north american production capacity.
          axiomatik
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Matt
          The realist notices that 5 years ago was 2008/2009, aka the absolute depths of the Great Recession. Improving sales versus 2008/2009 isn't much to brag about, everyone is selling many more cars than 5 years ago.
      Edsel
      • 11 Months Ago
      We use to call these types of vehicles "station wagons". A Country Squire edition with faux "woodie" embellishment would look groovy.
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