Drive Type: RWD
Model: Beetle - Classic
Trim: 2 DOOR CONVERTIBLE
Palm City, Florida, United States
This was bound to happen. Volkswagen's relentless drive for big volume has the brand mining seemingly every niche it can find for additional sales worldwide. And with its CLS Shooting Brake, fellow countryman Mercedes-Benz has already shown that a wagon based off of a "four-door coupe" can look dead sexy and command extra dollars. So it follows that the Volkswagen CC (whose existence is all but directly attributable to the success of the original CLS sedan) will also get a load-lugging variant. That's according to the UK's Autocar, which notes that the five-door will come in the CC's next generation.
According to the report, the next CC will be available in front and all-wheel drive variants with the usual assortment of gas and diesel four-cylinders found in the Wolfsburg empire, with the possibility of a gas plug-in hybrid model, too. The rakish estate will ride atop VW's MQB architecture, a shorter variant of which is also found underneath the new Golf. The scalable chassis is set to spread like kudzu throughout the company's lineup, but the CC probably won't happen until after the launch of the next European-market Passat in 2015.
Will we get it in North America? Hard to say. Volkswagen sells the standard CC saloon here, but not in particularly large numbers, and when the company moved to a North American-specific Passat, it dumped the wagon variant. The traditional VW estate apparently continues to pick up sales momentum abroad, however, making the CC Shooting Brake a seemingly natural fit for buyers who still want the utility of a two-box form but can afford to sacrifice a bit of cargo room in the name of style.
The Volkswagen brand sold 407,704 cars last year, a 6.95-percent decline compared to 2012, and it's down a further 8.36 percent through the end of April 2014 compared to this time last year. In order to to put the sales football between its Strategy 2018 goal posts, the brand would need to add 100,000 more sales every year to achieve the lofty 800,000-unit target. Coming to grips with how unreasonable that is, VW US CEO Michael Horn has said, "For now, we have to have realistic targets."
The reasons for the brand's slow-down are imprecise, but lots of folks are throwing lots of reasons around. Last November, VW Group Chairman Ferdinand Piech told Bloomberg, "We understand Europe, we understand China and we understand Brazil, [but] we only understand the US to a certain degree so far." Analysts say the brand hasn't had midsize and compact SUV offerings, especially an overdue retail version of the CrossBlue, and the ones it does have are priced too high for their segments. It "didn't introduce enough new engines, or alternative technologies or model variants" for the Passat and Jetta. It devoted so many resources to China that the US market suffered. It was being outspent two-to-one on advertising by competitors. Its J.D. Power dependability ratings aren't high enough to overcome its past. It "has never really taken the US customer seriously." And so on.
There's still no official admission of defeat concerning the target, but reading between the lines there are some VW execs that appear to accept it won't happen short of some deus ex machina. Still,
With Nissan getting ready to launch the e-NV200, it appears Volkswagen is looking to go after the same zero-emission commercial vehicle market with the all-electric 2013 e-Co-Motion Concept. Debuting next week at the Geneva Motor Show, the e-Co-Motion Concept might be small in size, but VW says it has cargo and payload capacities that should be perfect for small businesses.
Measuring 179 inches long, 75 inches wide and 77 inches tall, the e-Co-Motion Concept has about the same footprint as the current Golf, and it has a cargo capacity of 162 cubic feet and a maximum payload of more than 1,700 pounds. There isn't too much information on the e-Co-Motion just yet - such as what electric components and platform are used - but the press release posted below states while the concept is shown as a cargo van, future body styles could include a passenger wagon or a refrigerated box van.