VW’s Mexican Plant To Replace Beetle With Tarek Compact SUV From 2020

As the final Beetle rolled off the assembly line of Volkswagen’s Puebla plant in Mexico it marked the end of an era.

From 1955, the factory has been building first-, second-, and third-generation Beetles without interruption. The Beetle has succumbed to the popularity of SUVs and it’s no surprise that the Mexican plant will replace it with a sports utility vehicle.

As VW mentioned in the press release that announced the end of Beetle production, “Volkswagen de Mexico will soon shift resources to produce a North American market-focused compact SUV that fits in the manufacturer’s lineup below the Tiguan.”

According to VW of Mexico CEO Steffen Reiche, that particular model will be called Tarek and will enter production in late 2020 in Puebla, which also builds the Jetta sedan and Tiguan SUV. The new SUV is expected to reach U.S. dealerships in 2021.

The Tarek will be based on the China-spec VW Tharu, itself a rebadged Skoda Karoq. It will become the brand’s entry-level SUV in the United States, positioned below the long-wheelbase Tiguan — mind you, the T-Cross and T-Roc are not sold stateside.

Steffen Reiche said the new compact crossover for North America will be a beefed-up version of the Tharu. “We’ll adapt the Chinese model for this market. Our version will be the stronger one, the rougher one compared to the Chinese one,” the executive was quoted by Bloomberg at the event marking the end of Beetle production.

Also read: VW’s Tarok Pickup Could Be Priced In The Mid-$20,000 Range

While the VW Tarek for North America will be made in Mexico, South American markets will import the model from Argentina where the compact SUV will also be made at the carmaker’s Pacheco plant.

As with the VW Tharu, the Tarek will be based on the carmaker’s good-for-all MQB platform. In China, the Tharu offers three turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engines (1.2-, 1.4, and 2.0-liter units) with outputs of 116 PS (114 hp), 150 PS (148 hp), and 190 PS (187 hp), respectively. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is standard for every engine and all versions come with front-wheel drive.

Note: Chinese-spec VW Tharu pictured

more photos...
  • Mike anonymous

    VW’s Mexican Plant To Replace Beetle With Tarek Compact SUV From 2020” From 2020?….
    You guys,.. it’s an Article… From “THE FUTURE!”

  • JRP

    Aaaaand why do we need this? Can’t we get something cool and unique like T-Cross, T-Roc, or Tayron? We already have a Tiguan and if we wanted a bigger one just send over the Tiguan Allspace. The T-Cross could actually sell well.

    • Archknight77

      I have to agree that we should be getting a version of the Tayron, since we don’t have anything unique to our market and we always get shafted when something new comes out. The Tayron’s design shrunken would give it it’s own personality and create a sportier alternative to the Tiguan. Also, there’s no way this is coming here without AWD.

  • charlotteharry57

    Pardon me for saying this, but the Tarek looks just like the Tiguan before it grew a pair. So, why will it take 2 years before it gets here? Poor planning, obviously. By then all CUVs might be on sale at fire sale prices due to extreme oversupply.

  • Bash

    Ok so there is a Tarek, Tarok and Tharu.. right.

  • Karl

    This is further proof of Volkswagen contempt for the U.S market! Boring and uninspired are words that immediately jumps out at you after having one look at this contraption. Rather pathetic…

  • atomicbri

    Getting so tired of these bland boxes. I hope this CUV/SUV craze stops at some point. The Beetle may not have been a sales success here at the end but at least it had character. This thing will just blend into the background with all the other boring CUVs. I missed the days when one had choices of what they could buy. Coupes are dead (replaced by 4 door sedans called coupes) Sedans are dying, and all that will be left are Parent-mobiles in the form of bland CUVs and SUVs. Our only hope is this young generation (16-24) because the ones I’ve spoken to despise CUVs/SUVs.

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