Volkswagen has ambitious goals for the United States market: over the next seven years. The automaker wants to more-than-triple its 2010 sales, growing them from 256,830 in 2010 to 800,000 in 2018.
To do so requires the right mix of both product and pricing. The new 2011 Volkswagen Jetta sedan, though criticized by some for de-contenting compared to previous models, is outselling the old Jetta sedan by nearly a two-to-one margin, thanks largely to it’s lower price.
The newly released 2012 Volkswagen Passat, the first Volkswagen built in their new Chattanooga, Tennessee plant, should do equally well thanks to the numerous price points and trim levels it spans.
Still, Americans love their SUVs, and Volkswagen is a little short in this department. On the compact side there’s the Tiguan, which competes against compact SUVs like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. From there, Volkswagen’s product line jumps to the near-luxury Touareg, which starts out at $44,450, but tops $61,000 in Touareg Hybrid form. That’s a lot of money for an SUV without a prestigious badge on its snout.
Enter the yet-to-be-named seven seat SUV that Volkswagen is considering. It would be roomier than the five-seat Touareg, but like the new Jetta and Passat lines, would start at a lower price point. To quickly make inroads into the U.S. market, it would have to be priced below established vehicles such as the $28,170 Ford Explorer and the $29,195 Dodge Durango.
While VW hasn't formally green-lighted the new model, inside sources tell us it's pretty much a done deal--arriving for model year 2014 or so. Stay tuned for more details, as Volkswagen continues to focus in on the American market.