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Volkswagen has enough crossovers, says R&D boss

With the Tiguan finishing 2019 as Volkswagen's most popular model globally, crossover sales are likely to continue to grow, but further models are unlikely.

5 months ago
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Derek Fung
Journalist

Crossover sales will keep growing, but don’t expect Volkswagen to keep pumping out new high-riding models to take advantage.

Frank Welsch, head of research and development for the Volkswagen brand, believes the marque probably doesn’t need any further high-riding models.

“I don’t think [the growth in SUVs] is over, but we have enough. We do not need 10 more,” Welsch told Autocar.

Above: Volkswagen Tharu

He didn’t explicitly rule out adding further crossovers to the lineup, but said the company had to “take care” as Volkswagen, being a volume brand, needs to ensure each model sells in sufficient quantities to make money.

Welsch also noted the company is looking to axe some models based on the MQB platform. Although he didn’t name names, models such as the Touran people mover and Golf Sportsvan tall hatch are likely candidates for the chop.

In total Volkswagen currently has at least 12 crossovers available throughout the world including body variations, with three further models confirmed.

Above: T-Roc cabriolet

In Australia the crossover range consists of the Tiguan in both standard and long wheelbase, and Touareg. The T-Cross and T-Roc are due to arrive in local showrooms later this year.

High-riding wagons unavailable Down Under include the T-Roc cabriolet, Taigun, Tacqua, Tharu, Tayron, Atlas/Teramont, and Atlas/Teramont “coupe”.

It should be noted the Tacqua is a just a lightly restyled version of the T-Cross sold by one of Volkswagen’s joint venture partners in China.

Above: Volkswagen ID.4

Volkswagen’s crossover pipeline includes the Nivus “coupe” for Latin America, and the first electric crossovers based on the MEB platform: the ID.4 and ID.4 “coupe”.

The ID.4 will be about the same size as the Tiguan, and is expected to join the local range in 2022.