June 5, 2023

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Volkswagen lags in speed to U.S. market

If there’s one position wherever Volkswagen lags — pun intended — it can be velocity to industry. And no person appreciates that improved than VW’s U.S. sellers.

Want a evidence stage? Walking by means of the VW display screen on the press day of this month’s Los Angeles Auto Display, I was struck by how quite a few people today have been climbing all more than VW’s ID Buzz minivan, a motor vehicle that was first demonstrated in idea variety in January 2017, has not adjusted a great deal and nonetheless isn’t really readily available right here. Pandemic or not, which is the automotive definition of slooooowwww.

My issue is not to bemoan the Buzz but to say VW’s failure over the past decade to put a pickup — any pickup — on to U.S. dealership loads is an practically Shakespearean-amount tragedy and an indictment of the German automaker’s lack of current market agility, at minimum in Wolfsburg.

Allow me be clear: I’ve protected VW of The usa underneath 3 distinctive CEOs: Hinrich Woebcken, Scott Keogh and now Pablo Di Si. Every single a person knew VW sellers needed a pickup to at minimum give them a shot to contend in the approximately 15 % of the U.S. industry where by the lack of a bed leaves an automaker on the sideline. VW’s sellers do, as well they’ve been inquiring for a pickup for two a long time.

And but the world-wide automaker identified for its platform approach and legendary pieces bin could not cobble together a convincing-plenty of organization strategy to make it a reality. Which is even just after in-current market designers showed them how. In 2018, VW unveiled an Atlas-dependent way of living thought pickup, the Atlas Tanoak, in New York that was right out of the sections bin. A 12 months afterwards, it showed the Tiguan-sized Tarok principle that Di Si’s group in Latin The us drew up. Either would have been fantastic for VW sellers and nonetheless would be.

Now VW executives, which include Di Si, argue that any pickup from the brand would have to be electric powered, provided the automaker’s recent products strategy. High-quality. Then make a pickup from the MEB system, which underlies the current ID4.