Volkswagen is perpetually late to the SUV occasion. That a lot we knew already. The Volkswagen Touareg got here late, and was improperly positioned. The Volkswagen Tiguan was a lot later, and it too was overpriced and undersized. The Volkswagen Atlas, the model’s first three-row crossover, solely arrived in America this spring.
The Volkswagen T-Roc was clearly not the primary visitor to reach, both. The Nissan Juke, Mini Countryman, Subaru Crosstrek, Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, Jeep Renegade, Fiat 500X, Honda HR-V, and Mazda CX-Three have been gathering U.S. gross sales for years. But it surely’s not as if Volkswagen was the one main automaker late to the occasion. Ford’s EcoSport nonetheless isn’t right here, the Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic have been unveiled solely lately, and Toyota’s C-HR is a recent launch that lacks an all-wheel-drive choice.
However the Volkswagen T-Roc, revealed final week, can be extra than simply late to the occasion. In america, the Volkswagen T-Roc has returned its invitation by ticking the mistaken field. Remorse to say no.
Volkswagen of America has confirmed to TTAC that the Volkswagen T-Roc will not come to america, in all probability not ever.
But it surely’s extremely unlikely that Volkswagen will depart the Tiguan Restricted — the brand new de-contented, low-priced Tiguan that’s already been changed by a brand new Tiguan — to take the battle to America’s rising fleet of subcompact utility autos. As an alternative, count on a unique small utility automobile, a small crossover which may enchantment extra on to the U.S. plenty, to set foot on American shores.Is the T-Roc too small, too massive, too pricey, too… one thing to earn its method towards the Jeep Renegade and Honda HR-V and Buick Encore? Volkswagen gained’t say exactly why the T-Roc is unfit for U.S. responsibility. The choice is an odd one. 5 months in the past, after Volkswagen’s U.S. boss Hinrich Woebcken acknowledged the model’s woeful under-representation within the U.S. SUV/crossover sector, stories steered Volkswagen’s U.S. supplier community was solely able to promote T-Rocs.
Thus far this yr, solely 14 % of Volkswagen’s U.S. quantity is derived from utility autos. Greater than 40 % of the autos now bought in America are SUVs/crossovers.
But Volkswagen is now mentioning that the majority small utility autos bought globally are bought in Europe and China. To be honest, the U.S. subcompact crossover market is small. With fewer than 320,000 gross sales by 2017’s first seven months, the subcompact crossover sector generates far fewer gross sales than the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, which mixed for almost 450,000 gross sales throughout the identical interval.
However it’s a progress sector, and it’s one which Volkswagen seems completely keen to neglect, at the very least for a short time longer. In accordance with Bloomberg, Volkswagen plans seven new utility autos by the top of subsequent yr.
Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Reality About Automobiles and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.internet. Observe on Twitter @timcaincars.