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VW May Kill Off the Beetle

Cost cutting program threatens maker’s slow-selling product lines.

by on Mar.10, 2015

Despite adding variants like the Convertible, sales of the latest Beetle have been sluggish.

It may serve as the icon of the Volkswagen brand, but barely three years after launching an all-new version of the Beetle, the little car may be an endangered species, one of several VW products in the crosshairs as the German maker races to slash spending by about €5 billion, or $5.4 billion, by 2017.

Another model likely to vanish is the three-door version of the Polo subcompact, according to various reports out of Germany. Other slow-sellers, such as the Scirocco might also be targeted.

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VW isn’t reining things in entirely. The maker is investing heavily in its utility vehicle line-up, with a midsize model set to be built at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and a new version of the Tiguan to go into its Puebla, Mexico factory. Expanding those facilities will cost the German maker nearly $2 billion.


VW Set to Reveal New 2015 Polo

No U.S. plans – yet.

by on Jan.29, 2014

Volkswagen continues to tease U.S. buyers looking for an offering in the B-segment, which seems to have more options than ever.

Volkswagen continues to tempt – and frustrate – the growing number of American buyers who are migrating to the downsized B-segment, which has been flooded with a growing list of offerings from makers as diverse as Ford, Mini and Fiat, among others.

For now, the German maker says, U.S. buyers won’t be able to get their hands on the new 2015 Volkswagen Polo set to go on sale in Europe by mid-year, but that won’t stop fans from hoping that VW planners soon see the error of their ways. And with a production version of the high-performance Polo R prototype reportedly set to make its own debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, VW could hear even more calls to rethink its decision.

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The 2015 model is more facelift than major remake, with relatively modest styling changes but more significant changes to be found under the hood – with a number of new technologies being added to the little car, as well. (more…)

VW Unveils Subcompact Taigun CUV Concept

Brazilian show car hints at upcoming, Polo-based crossover.

by on Oct.23, 2012

The Taigun appears to share its platform with VW's subcompact Polo.

Sao Paulo auto showgoers are getting their first look at the Volkswagen Taigun Concept this week, a crossover-utility vehicle that is likely to return in production form in the not-too-distant future.

Based on the same platform as the subcompact VW Polo, the Taigun appears to be the prototype for one of two new CUVs Volkswagen is planning – as reported last week. A production version of the Taigun would slot into the VW line-up below the current Tiguan model.

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While some competitors have decided to push the styling envelope at the Sao Paulo – notably Nissan with its Extrem 2+2 concept – the VW Taigun maintains the maker’s relatively conservative design language, albeit adopting a more upright grille and adding a skidplate to give the show car some off-road credentials.


New Volkswagen Midsize SUV “Under Discussion”

Maker considering range of additional products, including Polo and Up! to support soaring U.S. sales.

by on May.30, 2012

VW Group CEO Jonathan Browning -- shown here at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show -- wants more product in the U.S. line-up.

With U.S. sales expected to increase by as much as 30% for May Volkswagen is looking at all its options to keep that momentum going – including the addition of all-new products to its American line-up.

The maker could start importing several models not currently sold in the U.S., said Volkswagen Group of American CEO Jonathan Browning.  But the executive says the more likely move would come with the addition of an all-new midsize SUV now “under discussion.”

“A midsize SUV would be a great opportunity for us,” Browning said following a speech to the Detroit Automotive Press Association.

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The vehicle would slot into the line-up between the compact Tiguan and the full-size Touareg sport-utility vehicles.  It might be developed as a joint project between the U.S. and “another region around the world,” Browning hinted, but he stressed that the American market would take the lead in the vehicle’s development.