Volkswagen sales in the U.S. lagged as it played catch up with its sport-utility vehicle line-up here, and with the introduction of the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport, the German automaker appeared to round out its portfolio — until now.
Today the automaker released the first image and video of its new compact SUV that will fill the void under the Tiguan. The official reveal will take place Oct. 13.
“We’re excited to share the first glimpse of the newest member of the Volkswagen family,” said Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. “Great things come in small packages, as Volkswagen has proven throughout the years with its iconic Beetle, Golf and Jetta. This next car will be no exception.”
There is no word on where this new SUV will be built: in Germany or at Volkswagen of America’s massive plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The company has been expanding the plant for some time to account for new product, specifically the new Atlas.
In early 2019, the company said it would spend $800 million to build two electric vehicles at its U.S. assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as part of the company’s global effort to broaden the appeal of electric vehicles. One of those is expected to be the upcoming ID.4 battery-electric vehicle that will be VW’s first U.S. EV. The second electric vehicle hasn’t been revealed.
The automaker is still tweaking its U.S. vehicle offerings. A new Tiguan is set to hit U.S. soil sometime late next year as a 2022 model. The Tiguan is the company’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S., and expected to keep that title with the update.
Earlier this year, the company introduced the Atlas Cross Sport, the five-seater variant of the full-size Atlas, which was introduced in 2016. The idea was to bridge the gap between the Touareg and the Atlas with a product.
Last year, Atlas sales surged 39%, to 81,508, noted Serban Boldea, the director of product marketing and strategy for Volkswagen of America, in March. Equally significant, it helped drive up the average transaction price for VW products in the U.S. by about $4,000.
Together with the recently updated Tiguan, VW’s SUV line-up accounted for 53% of its US. Sales last year. That was slightly ahead of the American market as a whole, where utility vehicles made up 52% of 2019 demand.