Crossovers are one of the dominant global vehicle segments of the moment, and Volkswagen is realizing that to grow sales as quickly as it wants, the business needs more of them in the lineup. However, the US might miss out on some of this CUV bonanza because the company is still waffling over where to build the Crossblue.
VW Group already offers a significant number of CUVs across its brands, but they are mostly premium products like the Audi Q-range, Porsche Cayenne and Macan and the forthcoming SUV from Bentley. According to company insiders speaking to Automotive News Europe, the next step is to offer more mainstream options. It claims that the VW brand alone could include as many as six crossovers in the coming years, up from two now. Among them would be a new Tiguan in 2015 with a later coupe and possible longer version on the same platform and a subcompact CUV with styling inspired by the Taigun concept or T-Roc concept. A new Touareg is also planned for sometime in the future.
Additionally, the production version of the Crossblue is on the horizon for North America, but its timing is becoming murkier. Insiders tell Automotive News Europe that the factories in Tennessee and Mexico are fighting over the truck and their respective governments are negotiating with VW over incentive deals. A final decision is expected by the end of June, but it may mean a longer wait for the vehicle. Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn promised at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show that the Crossblue would arrive in 2016. This isn't really sticking to the proposed plan of getting models to market faster.
As of the first quarter of 2014, VW Group was still showing strong growth worldwide in profits and sales. However, the US market continued to vex the automaker with falling numbers, and it may even have cut back its 2018 sales goal. The new CUVs could be positioned to continue global expansion and provide the US with a much-needed boost.