VW's future contains more crossovers — but sedans, too

Enthusiasts can look forward to Passat GT and new Jetta GLI

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
Volkswagen hosted an event for journalists and investors recently, and while a big part of that was sharing information about the soon-to-be-unveiled 2019 Jetta, the company also explained its near-future product plans. A significant part of those plans includes a pair of new crossover models. But it isn't abandoning its sedan and hatchback models anytime soon.

One of those crossover models will be a five-seat vehicle a bit smaller than Atlas. Volkswagen of America President and CEO Hinrich Woebcken described it as coupe-like. So imagine something to compete with the likes of the Nissan Murano, Ford Edge and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, but possibly with styling inspired by things like the Mercedes GLC Coupe and BMW X6. The other crossover will slot in below the long-wheelbase Tiguan, which is the only version we get in the U.S., but the company didn't provide any other details about it.

There's a very clear reason why Volkswagen is planning on expanding crossover offerings, and it's because they sell so well. Woebcken showed during his presentation that VW's car sales have only increased 1 percent year-to-date, whereas light truck sales increased a whopping 51 percent, with much credit going to the new Atlas and Tiguan. If that's not an obvious sign crossovers are where the market is going, nothing is.

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips

These crossovers will be launching a few years down the road, the first of which will appear in a timeframe between 2019 and 2021. Despite greater focus on crossovers, Woebcken explained that while the sedan market might not be growing like crossovers, it's still large and important and won't be abandoned by the company. In fact, 2018 will be a big year for sedans with the launch of the 2019 Jetta, and the American introduction of the Arteon. Enthusiasts will also be able to look forward to both the release of the GTI-inspired, VR6-powered Passat GT in 2018, and a future Jetta GLI, as confirmed by a VW representative, though without a release window. A completely redesigned Passat will also show up in the 2019 to 2021 window.

Finally, Volkswagen will also be shortening its product lifecycles and will have a fairly aggressive release schedule between 2019 and 2021. The company will launch two models each year of that timeframe.

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