Volkswagen Mulling a Mid-Size SUV for the U.S. Market

True to its mantra of leaving no segment of the car market unattended, Volkswagen is now pursuing the presentation of mid-size SUV for North America. Such a model would be about the same size as the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLK. “There’s a great opportunity for us for a mid-size SUV in the U.S. that would be positioned between the smaller Tiguan and larger Touareg SUVs,” said Volkswagen of America CEO Jonathan Browning, during an Automotive Press Association event in Detroit. Browning would not comment on when Volkswagen could introduce such a model in the market nor if it has already started development. The German automaker’s exec did note though that a mid-size SUV would help complete Volkswagen’s “core portfolio” in the United States and eliminate the $20,000 plus price gap between the base versions of the $22,840 Tiguan and $43,375 Touareg crossovers.
VW could build the mid-size SUV at its newly launched plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which currently produces around 150,000 Passat sedans a year, but has already made plans to hire and additional 1,000 workers to boost its annual capacity to over 170,000 cars. Browning said that with additional investment, the Chattanooga facility could be expanded to produce more than 250,000 vehicles a year, but he noted that VW has not made a decision yet. Story References: Autonews