Volkswagen says it is planning more aggressive, market-specific designs for the US, since the conservative look that has made the brand a huge seller in Europe and China hasn't had the same results here.
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Manufacturers realized long ago that the most effective way to leverage niche talent was to embed a team in the heart of the segment. From surfboard makers to chocolatiers, firms relocated offices to seek specific talents and a better local feel.
If you look back over the years, Volkswagens have been steadily marching toward the gaudy. We're not talking Sagrada Familia amazingness, but chromey, buck-toothed, overwrought fussiness. Walter Da'Silva is out to change all that by realigning Volkswagen design with its past. That doesn't mean that every VeeDub becomes a K.D.F Wagen throwback like the New Beetle, but certain proportions and themes from the historical portfolio will define the design language.
While Volkswagen's Tiguan is more radical-looking than most small SUVs out there, the rest of VW's lineup might best be described as German. Not necessarily ugly, mind you, just not envelope-puching, cutting edge stuff.