Volkswagen: Bus/vanagon Camper/westfalia on 2040-cars
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Auto blogMon, 13 Jan 2014
On the eve of the Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn has confirmed the imminent arrival of a new crossover. The model, previewed at the same show last year by the CrossBlue concept pictured here, will be unique to the North American market when it arrives here in 2016. The new three-row, seven-seat crossover is part of an ambitious expansion plan on the part of Volkswagen and Audi in North America, where the two brands aim to sell a million vehicles by 2018.
That's a mighty big increase over the 600,000 vehicles which the Volkswagen Group sold here last year, but it's moving in the right direction: That number is already a 100-percent increase of what it sold here just five years ago. At that rate, VW should have little trouble meeting its goals, particularly with the arrival of the new crossover and the introduction of Golf production at its assembly plant in Puebla, Mexico. Read the full statement below for more.
Volkswagen has petitioned the FIA to hold on to the current specifications for cars in the World Rally Championship, according to Autosport.com. The move is evidently an effort to keep as many competitors in the sport as possible, despite the fact that using the current spec racers may actually hurt Volkswagen's chances at winning. The three factory teams currently competing in the WRC are at the end of a three-year homologation cycle at the end of 2013, and new cars are expected to bow next year. But developing new racers could cost as much as $4.7 million.
That price tag would put M-Sport (which fields Ford racers) out of the WRC game for 2014 and would put Citroën participation in question as well. VW has already begun work on the next iteration of its Polo R WRC, and the hatch has nabbed four wins in six rounds this season. Now it appears that car won't bow until at least 2015. The FIA has officially agreed to freeze homologation of new WRC cars until the end of next season.
After surveying the European economic scene, Volkswagen may have decided now is not the time to launch utility vehicles with Bentley and Lamborghini badges. Bentley officials say they will continue to push for support for the EXP 9 F and Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelman has said planning for the Urus will continue until VW tells it to stop.
That decision could come on November 23, when VW's board will vote on the company's budget for equipment, factories and vehicles. With VW's sales slowing and the Euro economy slumping further, some industry watchers say the company is more likely to build its cash reserves than to introduce super-expensive luxury SUVs or crossovers.
"Such vehicles are anything but obligatory during a crisis," says Frankfurt-based Equinet AG analyst Tim Schuldt in a new Automotive News Europe story. "Delaying their launch would be no drama but help save costs."