After watching other automakers enjoy the North American SUV sales boom from afar, Volkswagen's own crossover utility portfolio is mushrooming rapidly. The high-ridingwagon has just been seeded in dealers, the gargantuan three-row is coming in May, and a new is also in the wings.
Interestingly enough, however, Volkswagen isn't putting today's long-serving Tiguan out to pasture when the new, larger model arrives. At a media roundtable at Tuesday's Geneva Motor Show, VW North American CEO Hinrich Woebcken revealed that the current Volkswagen Group A5-platform-based model will live on -- and for more than one model year. "Both are going to have the name Tiguan," the executive stated, although he wouldn't elaborate on how the two models' names will be differentiated. In other markets, the new, long-wheelbase Tiguan carries the designation "Allspace."
Despite being assembled in the more costly build location of Osnabrück, Germany, today's Tiguan is likely to be positioned as a value play compared to the larger, more sophisticated new-generation Tiguan, which will be built in Puebla, Mexico. That's because the new model is expected to feature updated infotainment, superior crash-test performance and more efficient powertrains. Somewhat confusingly, VW has already shown a new-generation short-wheelbase Tiguan that's about the size of today's North American model, but that vehicle won't make it to our market.
From a sales perspective, the move seems to make sense -- despite being very old by automotive standards (the platform first bowed in 2007), today's Tiguan is riding the wave of increasing NA SUV sales, with the model's sales being up some 20 percent year-over-year through February. If the new long-wheelbase Tiguan is sufficiently differentiated in terms of cost, styling and positioning, there should be enough room for both vehicles in showrooms.
It's also not unprecedented for two vehicles of different platforms to share the same name in this space. Nissan recently revealed its new(known as Qashqai elsewhere in the world), which will slot in underneath the larger standard . Nissan even kept the previous-generation Rogue around as "Rogue Select" for a brief period. Fellow Japanese automaker Mitsubishi has also kept similar strategy with its and larger, costlier crossovers, as well.