Volkswagen is on a mission to dominate sales in almost every category, with a goal of selling one million Audis and VWs yearly in the United States by 2018. Projected U.S. sales of both brands for 2012 is only 565,000. To bridge that gap, analysts say the two brands will need to compete in almost every sales category.
VW and Audi have the sedan customers covered, but offerings in the crossover segment are slim. Automotive News says it hears VW is planning a couple of crossover variants, the most interesting of which concerns a possible green light for the Microbus-inspired Bulli concept from the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Unnamed VW executives are said to have expressed interest in a Microbus-type crossover large enough for five adults. I think a retro-themed VW bus would look very nice next to the newly restyled Beetle.
Other rumors have VW developing a seven-seat crossover to compete with Ford’s Explorer and the Honda Pilot. The new Chattanooga plant is probably where it would be built in time for sales in 2014.
Sources also say the upcoming Tiguan replacement will be “U.S.-sized” (i.e., larger) for 2014. Fewer than than 30,000 Tiguans are sold every year, possibly because of limited legroom and cargo space compared to competitors like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.