Volkwagen Reportedly Planning to Wage War on U.S. Market with New SUV, Electric Car, and Turbo Engines
Not too long ago, Volkswagen set out an ambitious goal to drastically increase its volume of sales in the U.S. The company set out a 2017 timeline to reach said goal, but most accounts show that's just not going to happen. But it's not like Germany's largest automaker and the third-largest automaker in the world is sitting still by any means. There are plenty of things going on in the company's portfolio. First up looks to be the e-Golf, which will land in the U.S. sometime around 2015. Based on the new Volkswagen Golf first shown in the U.S. at the New York Auto Show this past spring, the e-Golf will be the first electric vehicle the company sells in the U.S., as it has been experimenting for some time with the current-generation cars in electrified form as well as the Audi A3 e-tron. The move signifies Volkswagen's shift to different alternative powertrains, as diesel engines have long been its mainstay. However, U.S. legislation isn't making it easy for Volkswagen to garner support, as the U.S. is throwing its eggs into the hybrid and EV basket. What's more, Volkswagen has said that it will begin phasing out its normal gas engines entirely for a range of turbocharged engines within the next three to four years. Currently, Volkswagen is in the midst of getting rid of its 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine in the Jetta and Passat in favor or a turbocharged 1.8-liter mill with similar power but much better fuel economy. Next up will be its naturally aspirated, 115-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and 3.6-liter V-6. Complementing those engines will be a lineup of a supercharged V-6 and turbocharged diesels. Not to be overshadowed, but the Dub is also looking at bringing a subcompact crossover to the U.S., and Chattanooga, Tennessee, could be its place of assembly. Currently competing against Volkswagen's Mexican operations where it will assemble all variants of the next-generation Golf, Chattanooga is running at a full 150,000-unit capacity for the Volkswagen Passat, but it could be expanded much, much further for production of a new vehicle. Already, it was expected that Volkswagen would be assembling a new seven-passenger crossover based partly on the U.S. Passat in Tennessee. The new small crossover would potentially slow below the Tiguan and would challenge everything from the Nissan Juke to the Mini Countryman, Buick Encore, and upcoming Honda crossover based on the Fit. Already in the works, the subcompact crossover is expected to look and go a whole lot like the 2015 Volkswagen Taigun that was designed for the Chinese market in mind. That said, so was our Passat, and it's selling pretty well over here. If it does come to the U.S., we're eager to see whether it will be made alongside VW's small cars in Mexico or whether the potentially unionized Chattanooga plant will receive it. Only time will tell. Sources: Bloomberg, Detroit News, NY Times
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