German carmaker Volkswagen has announced the largest SUV offensive in the company’s history with every second Volkswagen passenger car sold globally to probably be an SUV by 2025.
This already applies to every fifth car sold now. The brand is expecting strong growth in SUV sales from the North and South American market, as well as in China. It expects to have a share of 50 percent in the SUV segment by 2025.
To achieve this milestone Volkswagen plans to have a product portfolio of more than 30 SUV models globally by 2025. With the new Polo-sized T-Cross, the brand is rounding off its SUV product portfolio at the bottom in the smallest segment.
The Touareg is in the premium SUV segment, the Tiguan and T-Roc are in the compact classes and the new T-Cross in the small car segment. Volkswagen’s first full-electric SUV, the ID Crozz, is to be launched in 2020. This segment is part of Volkswagen’s e-mobility offensive, which aims to bring 20 new full-electric models in the market by 2025.
The Touareg is at the top end of Volkswagen‘s SUV range, while the T-Roc is currently the brand‘s smallest SUV. In this respect, it will be succeeded by the new T-Cross
Jurgen Stackmann, member of the board of management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand responsible for sales, said: "SUVs are becoming increasingly popular with our customers throughout the world. This is why we are consistently pursuing our current SUV offensive. It will be a key contribution to strengthening our core business so that we can invest the necessary billions of euros in mobility and autonomous driving. The T-Cross rounds off our SUV family in the rapidly growing small SUV market.”
Small car for the big push
The recently revealed T-Cross is the brand’s smallest and most compact SUV and also the first SUV to be offered by Volkswagen in this vehicle class. The new T-Cross comes with a wide variety of assistance systems previously only available on cars in the premium segment. The standard equipment includes the front assist ambient monitoring system with pedestrian monitoring and city emergency braking function, the lane keeping assistant ‘Lane Assist’, the ‘Proactive Occupant Protection System’ and the lane change assistant ‘Blind Spot Detection’.
Unlike the Europe-bound shorter variant that is based on the MQB AO platform, the variant for the emerging markets like India would be longer at 4.19m and would be based on a modified version of the platform. It will come with a 1.0l TSI petrol engine (the same 128hp and 196Nm engine used in VW Polo). It is also revealed that the longer version is going to miss out on certain features such as adaptive cruise control, automatic braking system with pedestrian detection, automatic high beam, and a blind spot monitoring system.
In India, Skoda, which shares the same MQB AO platform, will launch the SUV later in 2020. Along with the platform, the Skoda SUV will share a few body panels from the T-Cross, along with many interior bits like the dashboard, seats, and other technologies. India will first see the launch of the Skoda SUV first, and then the T-Cross.
With its digital cockpit and its connectivity with the outside world, Volkswagen is promoting the T-Cross as the ideal car for its time.