FRANKFURT, Aug 9 — With some manufacturers having notable success with crossovers featuring radical exterior styling, Volkswagen has jumped on the bandwagon with the T-Roc, a new model that looks to be quite a departure from its existing range.
As sales of crossovers continue to outstrip saloons, hatches and coupes, it’s not really surprising Volkswagen is looking to expand its SUV range in the coming years. The T-Roc will be the first of the new models, but it is expected to be closely followed sometime next year by an even more compact model in the shape of the T-Cross.
When the T-Roc arrives in Europe at the end of this year it will provide an altogether edgier and more compact urban crossover alternative to the extremely conventional Tiguan, filling a gap in the VW range.
VW has a strategic plan to attain a 4 per cent operating margin, to bring about a 25 per cent increase in productivity in Germany, and to return to profitability in three regions where it’s currently making a loss, by 2020, and the new SUVs are a big part of the plan for achieving that.
During a recent conference call, VW brand sales and marketing chief, Juergen Stackmann, said of the new model: “It will be Volkswagen’s first true lifestyle CUV — crossover utility vehicle — packed with highly innovative digital features and the latest driving assistance systems. The T-Roc will be a very important model for the Volkswagen brand covering the SUV segment below the Tiguan.”
The German brand has had to have a rethink as despite huge demand for crossovers of all shapes and sizes in the vital American market, poor sales of the Touareg are seeing it dropped from VW’s 2018 US lineup.
The Touareg sold just 1,630 units in the first half of this year, so the company is sure to be hoping for a more impressive performance from its new compact SUV.
The T-Roc will be unveiled to the media at a press event on August 23, before it showcases it at the Frankfurt Motor Show (open to the public between September 16 and 24, 2017). — AFP-Relaxnews