For Sale By:Dealer
Model: Karmann Ghia
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Exterior Color: Red
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 4
Warren, Rhode Island, United States
Volkswagen dug into its commercial vehicle fleet for its latest Geneva Motor Show concept, blending the versatile body of the T5 MultiVan with a luxuriously appointed interior, 4Motion all-wheel drive and a thrifty diesel powertrain.
That 177-horsepower diesel engine routes its power to the AWD system through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Based on that alone, we'd expect the Multivan Alltrack's behind-the-wheel experience to be somewhat familiar. That all-wheel-drive system and van body contribute to the 21-degree approach and 15-degree departure angles of this soft-roading MultiVan.
What wouldn't be familiar is its exquisite cabin. Volkswagen opted for a nautical theme for the concept's interior, featuring grey-blue leather seats from Poltrona Frau and a floor finished in real wood. The dark wood trim can also be found throughout the interior, running below the windows and on the dash.
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 redesigned Volkswagen Passat has been a decent seller since its debut in 2011, but sales have apparently dropped off enough that the automaker is trimming some of the employees from its Chattanooga, TN assembly plant. According to Automotive News, Volkswagen will be cutting shifts and laying off 500 contracted workers in response to slowing sales.
Currently, the plant has three teams running 10-hour shifts Monday through Saturday, but starting May 13, this will be reduced down to two teams running 10-hour shifts Monday through Thursday. This will be done to reduce dealer inventory (the article says that VW dealers, on average, have a 97-day supply of Passats) and production capacity (currently running at an annual pace of 170,000 units, which is more than the 150,000 annual units the plant was planned to produce).
This, of course, isn't saying that the Passat has been a failure since VW added 200 full-time employees to the plant in February 2012 to keep up with increased demand. The AN article says that automakers frequently overstaff plants during the launch of a new product - or in this case, a new product and a new plant - but eventually reduce the workers as things run smoother and more efficiently.