Volkswagen of Mexico has rolled off the first production body of the upcoming Tiguan long wheelbase destined for North America, which is slated to hit the assembly line in the first quarter of 2017.
Built last Friday to check the calibration of body shop equipment and processes, the 3-row SUV’s first test body was presented to Volkswagen’s executives and to workers at the plant, who were “part of the milestone”, as the manufacturer explains.
Compared to the five-seat Tiguan, the seven-seat version will ride on a 4.33-inch (11 cm) stretched wheelbase. It will offer a more spacious cabin and a longer rear overhang for a larger boot. The model’s official debut is unknown at this point, but it will probably be unveiled by the end of this year, in its final form.
The larger Tiguan will be produced in Puebla for worldwide markets, except for China, whose body shop facility has an extension of 70,800 square meters. The plant has received almost 700 containers with more than 50,000 tons of equipment to be installed in the new building. The factory’s personnel are undergoing training for the programming of 800 Fanuc welding robots, which will be in charge of the automation process.