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Volkswagen sticks to sedans - image 1

Volkswagen sticks to sedans

by Ronan Glon

"We are intending to be a full line manufacturer," said Volkswagen of America's boss.

Rivals aren't following Ford's shift away from traditional passenger cars. Volkswagen remains fully committed to the sedan, even in North America where crossovers reign supreme.

"We are intending to be a full line manufacturer," Hinrich Woebcken, the head of Volkswagen's American division, told Digital Trends.

Woebcken added electrification could give the sedan segment a boost. He pointed out a sedan normally has a lower drag coefficient than a crossover, so it slips through air and -- in theory, at least -- offers more driving range on the same amount of electricity.

Even non-electrified sedans have a future. Volkswagen recently introduced the all-new 2019 Jetta (pictured) and it's planning on launching a next-generation Passat in the coming years. Built on the MQB platform, the model will again be designed specifically for the United States market and built locally in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Though Volkswagen's sedans aren't going anywhere, Woebcken admits investing in crossovers, SUVs, and possibly even trucks makes a lot of sense.

"The shift from sedans to SUVs is a permanent one. In former times, when gas prices went up people moved back to sedans. We believe this will not happen anymore for two reasons. First, the difference in fuel economy between SUVs and sedans is not so big anymore. Second, customers do not want to give up the high seating position. I believe that trend will not reverse," he explained.

Photography by Ronan Glon.

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