The Nissan Juke and Mini Countryman arrived in the US in 2010. The Subaru Crosstrek appeared two years later.
Buick’s Encore appeared at U.S. sellers in 2013; its Chevrolet Trax accomplice the next yr. 2015 noticed the arrival of the Fiat 500X, Jeep Renegade, Honda HR-V, and Mazda CX-Three. The (FWD-only) Toyota C-HR landed in April 2017. The Hyundai Kona was unveiled in June 2017 and can present up in U.S. Hyundai shops this coming winter.
And on August 23, 2017, Volkswagen will unveil the T-Roc, which isn’t prone to go on sale in the US till 2019. That’s 9 years late.
Will the T-Roc’s tardiness trigger the subcompact Volkswagen crossover to undergo penalties simply as its overdue siblings all the time have?
Keep in mind the (now discontinued) upmarket Volkswagen Touareg’s 2003 look? The Mercedes-Benz ML was six years previous by that time. The BMW X5 went into manufacturing in 1999.
The primary Volkswagen Tiguan sale in America occurred in 2008, by which level the Toyota RAV4 was having fun with its 13th mannequin yr.
The Volkswagen Atlas arrived in America three months in the past, 15 years after the Honda Pilot, which was hardly the household SUV progenitor.
Even when the previous Volkswagen Tiguan hangs round, the T-Roc will solely improve Volkswagen of America’s SUV/crossover lineup to 4 automobiles. Toyota markets the 4Runner, C-HR, Highlander, Land Cruiser, RAV4, and Sequoia. Nissan’s present lineup contains the Armada, Juke, Murano, Pathfinder, Rogue, and Rogue Sport. Volkswagen compatriot Mercedes-Benz sells the G, GLA, GLC, GLE, and GLS, plus an extra bodystyle for each the GLC and GLE.
Of higher consequence than the amount of nameplates, nonetheless, is the amount of gross sales. Coming late to the social gathering has by no means been Volkswagen’s solely downside — the Touareg was a luxurious SUV with a Volkswagen badge, the primary Tiguan was overpriced and undersized — but it surely was all the time a big issue. Volkswagen of America bought 26,476 utility automobiles within the first seven months of 2017. Toyota sells 32,000 RAV4s each month.
By the point the Tiguan hit the cabinets, there have been legions of loyal RAV4 and CR-V clients, for instance. The Atlas’ dawdling method left a decade (or way more) for three-row household SUVs to ascertain their market share in America.
With out realizing the 2019 Volkswagen T-Roc’s modus operandi, we are able to’t faux to understand how Volkswagen’s subsequent crossover will carry out within the U.S. market. Maybe will probably be faster, extra spacious, higher wanting, and extra attractively priced than all of its established rivals. However even whether it is, the T-Roc enters the equation at a extreme drawback?
So will Volkswagen all the time be punished by its incapacity to rapidly and decisively reply to the auto business’s SUV traits?
Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Fact About Automobiles and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.internet. Observe on Twitter @timcaincars.