The old Tiguan will stick around for a while longer.
Volkswagen is counting on an unprecedented crossover offensive to turn around its troubled North American division.
Currently, crossovers and SUVs make up between 10 and 12 percent of the Wolfsburg-based company's lineup on our shores. Hinrich Woebcken, the head of Volkswagen's North American division, told Ward's Auto he wants that figure to balloon to about 40 percent in the coming years.
One of the more surprising tidbits of information is that the current, first-generation Tiguan will stick around for a while longer. It will be sold alongside the new, seven-seater model unveiled in January at the Detroit Auto show and positioned as an entry-level offering. It will need a new name, of course.
The Touareg will keep its spot as Volkswagen's range-topping SUV. The Atlas (pictured) could spawn a smaller model with just five seats, but Woebcken has shot down the recent rumors that claim a Honda Ridgeline-fighting pickup truck is in the works. There's no enthusiasm in Wolfsburg for such a model, he explained, because the segment is relatively small.
The focus on high-riding models doesn't mean Volkswagen will overlook its sedans. Ward's Auto has learned a brand new Jetta will make its debut next year, and the U.S.-spec Passat will be replaced in 2019. The Beetle is safe, too.
"This is typical with emotional products that peak early and then wind down. But there still is a huge community out there that still loves the car. We're going to continue bringing out special editions to keep that product fresh," he promised.