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Volkswagen Bringing Small “Volks-SUV” to North America Instead of T-Roc

Crossover originally developed for China

Crossover originally developed for China

Now we’re starting to understand why Volkswagen didn’t bring the T-Roc to the North American market. The automaker apparently has a different small SUV in mind for us, one that is currently under development and will come from Mexico.

Although we don’t have an official name yet, VW calls the model “Volks-SUV,” or People’s SUV. “We call it internally Volks-SUV – the production car won’t have that name – because it turned from a regional project into a global project,” said VW brand sales boss Juergen Stackmann, reports Automotive News.

The model, to be sold globally, is slightly more compact than the Tiguan. It will sit on the MQB architecture for cars with front transverse engines. VW just approved the design last week, so the process is already pretty far along.

Volkswagen will initially build the model through a joint venture in China, and sales for the U.S. market will begin in August while an exact launch date for the Canadian market has not been set. Production will expand into Mexico, Russia, and Argentina starting from 2020. The automaker didn’t say when we can expect to see it in the U.S., but VW brand CEO Herbert Diess revealed Mexico will supply the crossover for the U.S.

Small crossovers are hot, in particular in the U.S. right now, and VW clearly needs a competitor in this space. So why didn’t the T-Roc make the cut, you ask? VW says its smaller size and lower roof make it more compatible with Europe. Meanwhile, the automaker will sell the “Volks-SUV” in various different markets, but there are no plans to introduce it in Europe.

According to Diess, VW wants to sell 400,000 copies of the new crossover globally each year. If it sells well, the model can help fund VW’s extensive electric vehicle lineup planned for the future.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)