Volkswagen To Build New "Cross Blue" Midsize SUV in North America
By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor
The Auto Channel
• SEE ALSO: Volkswagen Buyers Guide
DETROIT - January 12, 2014: During the Volkswagen Group Night on the eve of the Detroit Auto Show, CEO Dr. Martin Winterkorn announced a $7 billion investment in North America over the next five years. He confirmed that a new 7-seat midsize SUV, the Cross Blue, is scheduled for market launch in 2016 and will be built in North America. However it is not known yet whether this is going to be in Mexico or in Chattanooga. The Cross Blue will be 5 meters long and 2 meters wide and will be exclusively available in North America. The Taigun, a smaller SUV (same letters, different car as the Tiguan) is also in the planning. A concept car has been unveiled last year.
Dr. Winterkorn said, “2013 was challenging, especially for European car manufacturers. At the IAA (Frankfurt Auto Show), I promised that we would deliver 9.5 million vehicles in 2013. We delivered even more: 9.7 million, which is an increase of 4.8 per cent.”
Even though Volkswagen had a set back in North America and just sold 570,000 units, he said VW was staying on course world wide as well as in the US. The goal is to sell 800,000 Volkswagens and 200,000 Audi’s in 2018.
The Volkswagen Group has doubled its sales from 2008 in the US, which Winterkorn described as the toughest auto market: “If you cannot make it here, you cannot make it anywhere.” He also said that the production start of the new Golf ‘made in North America’ would give the brand a boost: “The Golf has never been so innovative or so efficient.”
The plant in Pueblo, Mexico, will start production of the Golf on January 14. The market launch is scheduled for the summer.
Additionally, Porsche has never been stronger, according to Dr. Winterkorn. An amount of $170 million will be invested in projects such as two new experience centers. It is the largest investment outside Europe.