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VW Expects to Make Cross Blue Decision by Year’s End

Mid-size utility would be built at Chattanooga, Tenn. plant.

by on Nov.21, 2013

The fate of the VW Cross Blue will be known by the end of the year.

Even though there are only 40 days left on the calendar in 2013, Volkswagen of America (VOA) expects to have the final decision on whether to build the Cross Blue mid-sized utility vehicle by the end of the year the top VOA executive told reporters during a roundtable discussion.

“We said there will be a decision on the Cross Blue by the end of the back in January at the (North American International Auto Show) and there will be a decision by the end of the year,” said Jonathan browning, VOA chief executive officer.

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Browning went on to explain that Cross Blue was something of a joint operation with Volkswagen AG’s far flung operations in China. Plans call for also building the Cross Blue somewhere in China as well as North America and the plans for the Chinese market also have to be finalized before VW to go ahead with an announcement.

However, VW and its Chinese partners also expect to have a final decision on their part of the Cross Blue Project by the end of the year. Both the Chinese and North American projects would be announced at the same time.

It is expected that VW would build the new utility vehicle at its assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. During the discussion with reporters at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Browning said nothing indicated was preparing to change its plans. The Chattanooga plant has ample production capacity to build both the new utility vehicle and the Passat sedan.

(VW maintains global growth pace. For more, Click Here.)

Browning also shrugged off the decline in VW’s U.S. sales this year. VOA’s U.S. sales have dropped 4 percent this year but Browning said it was only natural for sales to level off after three years of rapid growth.

(Click Here to see why VW axed the Routan minivan.)

The addition of the new mid-sized utility vehicle to the VW in the U.S. would give VW an additional “pillar” on which to rest its future growth, Browning said. The fact is VOA cannot grow sales in the U.S. by loading its line up with niche vehicles from its global product portfolio. Instead it has to go “deeper” in the market with key vehicles with broad appeal like the new utility vehicle, Browning said.

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