The Volkswagen Tiguan is starting to get a little long in the tooth, and the German automaker is reportedly already deep in development on the second-generation model. If rumors prove true, Volkswagen may be keeping a big secret when it comes to the new compact crossover. Company insiders speaking to Autocar claim that there are both five- and seven-passenger versions of the next Tiguan in the works. It raises an interesting question about the future of the larger Crossblue concept, though.
According to the sources, the five-passenger, second-gen Tiguan is about a year away from its debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. The new CUV rides on VW’s MQB platform, and its size is roughly the same as the current model. The even bigger news from the insiders hits a few months later when a longer-wheelbase, seven-passenger Tiguan with three rows of seats is unveiled at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show.
Here’s where it gets confusing: VW CEO Martin Winterkorn announced at the 2014 Detroit show that the Crossblue was coming to the US in 2016. In concept form, it also used the MQB platform and seats seven. It seems rather odd for an automaker to introduce a pair of three-row CUVs on the same chassis in the same year in the US. Although, it’s possible that this could just be a name change for the production Crossblue, it doesn’t seem likely. It could also be that Tiguan’s third row will be a much smaller, occasional-use only sort of proposition, in much the same way that Nissan now offers its Rogue compact CUV with three rows, yet it also markets the much larger Pathfinder (though admittedly they aren’t on the same chassis). We’ve contacted Volkswagen to straighten this story out, and we’ll update you when we hear back.
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Within the framework of its Strategy 2018 plan, the Volkswagen Group is expanding its industrial footprint in the US. The Board of Directors of Volkswagen Group of America has decided to award the production of the new midsize SUV to the Chattanooga plant in Tennessee. The Group will be investing a total of approximately US$900 million (€643 million) in the production of a newly developed, seven-passenger SUV, and creating 2,000 additional jobs in the US. About US$600 million (€432 million) will be invested in Tennessee.
“The United States of America is and will remain one of the most important markets for Volkswagen. Over the past few years, we have achieved a lot there. We are now launching the second phase of the Volkswagen campaign in the US. With the midsize SUV, the expansion of the Chattanooga plant and the new development center, the focus is on the wishes of the US customer. This is also a strong signal for the US as an industrial and automobile production location. The Volkswagen brand is going on the attack again in America,” said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, in Wolfsburg.
“The Chattanooga-built midsize SUV will allow us to fulfill the wishes of our dealer network, bringing new customers to our showrooms and additional growth for the brand,” said Michael Horn, President and CEO Volkswagen Group of America. “We are eager to be entering this growing vehicle segment with a world-class, seven-passenger SUV from Volkswagen.”
Apart from investing in the production of a new vehicle, the Chattanooga location is to receive a new, independent National Research & Development and Planning Center of the Volkswagen Group of America for project coordination in the North American market. The objective is to identify customers’ feedback in the market and to integrate them more expeditiously into existing and planned vehicle models. This will lead to the creation of approximately 200 qualified engineers working in Chattanooga. This decision is another element in the investment program that the Volkswagen Group has launched in the region. From 2014 to 2018, the Volkswagen Group will be investing more than US$7 billion in the US and Mexico. It is Volkswagen’s goal to deliver 800,000 vehicles in the US by 2018.
“Today is an exciting day not just for Chattanooga and Hamilton County but for all of Tennessee, and I want to thank Volkswagen for its significant long-term investment in our state,” Governor Bill Haslam said. “The impact of this announcement goes far beyond the 2,000 new jobs because of the large multiplier effect of the automotive industry, and adding an additional manufacturing line and the National Research & Development and Planning Center sends a clear signal that Tennessee can compete with anyone in the global marketplace.”
Christian Koch, CEO and Chairman of Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, said: “We are proud to be making the new midsize SUV here. This is fantastic news for the plant and proof of the confidence placed in the workforce that does a great job here making high-quality cars every day.”
At Chattanooga, the new SUV will be integrated into existing plant structures. Existing areas in production will be used for the assembly of the midsize SUV. A total floor space of 50,000 m² (approx. 538,000 sq ft) will be added to the existing production facility. The midsize SUV, which is based on the CrossBlue concept vehicle, was developed especially for the North American market. The CrossBlue made its global debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Today, Volkswagen also announced that the Chairman of the Group Works Council of Volkswagen, Bernd Osterloh, will join the Board of Directors of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “We are pleased that Mr. Osterloh has declared his willingness to play a concentrated role in shaping our US strategy in the future. He will represent the views of the workforce. This is in line with the codetermination culture of Volkswagen, which is one of our key success factors,” Prof. Dr. Winterkorn said.
Osterloh stated: “It is important for us that our colleagues in the U.S. know that we also care about the production site and the employment in Chattanooga. I am looking forward to my work on the Board. I am determined to uphold the interests of Volkswagen employees in Chattanooga. The North American market offers considerable opportunities; in my opinion, these have not been pursued with sufficient consistency in the past. With today’s decision to produce the midsize SUV in the USA, we are taking a key step.”
“Hamilton County is pleased to partner with Volkswagen as they create 2,000 new family-wage jobs which will also generate very positive economic ripple effects for residents throughout our community,” said Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger. “By working with Volkswagen to build on the tremendous success of their initial job creation project, we are establishing a foundation for continuing economic growth for years to come.”
“Volkswagen is one of Chattanooga’s largest and most valued employers. They have brought 12,400 living-wage jobs to our region, employed Chattanoogans and helped build our middle class. This expansion will result in a huge capital investment and thousands of new jobs,” said Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke. “From day one, the City and County have worked hard to see today become a reality, when we can announce that Volkswagen will be adding more jobs, more investment and expanding their presence in Chattanooga.”
“This announcement is great for Chattanooga and great for Volkswagen,” said Ron Harr, president & CEO of the Chattanooga Chamber. “Thanks to Volkswagen’s expansion, we will have a much easier time recruiting additional automotive suppliers to help them build out their supply chain while also cementing Chattanooga as ‘The Center of the Automotive South.’”
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With summer finally here, Volkswagen has seen to it that the Beetle Dune concept hit the road in sunny Sylt, Germany. Originally making its first public appearance in January at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, the Beetle Dune features a ride height that is 50mm taller than its production counterpart, large all-terrain tires, and a rear mounted ski-rack like those installed on many classic Beetles. The Dune is powered by a 2.0 TSI that is identical to that used in the road-going Beetle, and routed through a six-speed DSG Gearbox and sending power to the front wheels.
The Volkswagen Beetle Dune concept brought a splash of summer sunshine to a cold and wintry Michigan in January when it made its debut at the Detroit motor show. It’s now made a reappearance on the road in sunny Sylt, Germany, and while it remains a concept car, everything about it is feasible – it is practically a production vehicle.
This Volkswagen was made for fun on any terrain: the body has been raised by 50 mm compared with a standard Beetle, while 19-inch wheels with large tyres lend an all-terrain look. A rear-mounted ski-rack is reminiscent of those fitted to classic Beetles, and makes a perfect accessory for the season. In the summer, it could hold a sandboard – the ideal accessory for surfing the sand dunes from which the Beetle Dune takes its name.
The Beetle Dune concept is based on the current production model, using the same 210 PS turbocharged petrol engine and six-speed DSG gearbox, providing power to the front wheels.
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The Volkswagen Fun Cup is the largest endurance series in Europe, utilizing highly modified Beetles to race around some of the most prestigious circuits in the region. With the series drawing such a large crowd, they are sure to have a few rotten eggs in attendance. This past weekend, one such rotten egg managed to sneak his way onto the track in his girlfriend’s Volkswagen Polo.
As you can see, quick reactions of the Fun Cup drivers prevented an incident, but one does wonder how this could have happened. Yesterday, additional video surfaced that may give us some insight.
Although the driver managed to sneak by the race marshals, he could not slip past the authorities, who have arrested the 21 year old for false imprisonment. Even more unfortunate for the driver, his passenger captured the whole thing on tape.
Seemingly endless hours of watching Law and Order lead us to believe that authorities will have a good time with this footage when the case goes to court.
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Kiwi ad agencies are pretty good at road safety messages – but Volkswagen may have trumped all our previous efforts with a brilliant ad campaign to fight mobile phone use in cars.
Volkswagen has thrown its weight behind the fight against mobile phone use from behind the wheel with the help of some clever tech and some unsuspecting movie goers.
Before the movie plays, the first person clip of a person starting up their car and cruising down a perfectly straight, tree lined road starts to play.
Just as the cinema goers start to become engrossed in the mystery ad, the folks behind it send a text message to all the mobile phones in the cinema.
As everyone takes their eyes off the screen and starts searching for their phones, the car on screen careens into one of the trees lining the aforementioned perfectly straight road.
While everyone regains their composure from the shock of it all the message “Mobile use is now the leading cause of death behind the wheel, a reminder to keep your eyes on the road” appears in front of the shocked faces of the cinema goes, some still clutching their mobiles.
Nobody saw it coming, which was the entire point. If you take your eyes off the road, you won’t react to a potential hazard in time.
Well played Volkswagen, you can guarantee the cinema goers will never forget the message.
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GoPro® and Tanner Foust team up for Volkswagen challenge