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VW, Audi product planners think big, not small, for U.S.

Automotive News reports on Volkswagen Group's new model plans.

While their competitors add compacts, hybrids, and electric cars, Volkswagen and Audi are pursuing a different product strategy in the United States.

Both VW Group brands want the volume and higher profits that go with larger vehicles.

VW just launched the Passat sedan designed for the United States and built at its new Chattanooga, Tenn., factory. The U.S. Passat is larger though less expensive than the version sold in Europe.

VW executives have talked about selling a small car like the European Polo in the United States. But for now they are focusing on the Passat and two other cars that have been enlarged and designed mainly for the United States--the year-old Jetta sedan and the second-generation Beetle that went on sale in September.

Audi of America has delayed introduction of the compact Q3 crossover, rejected the A1 microcar for the United States, and said if the A2 subcompact is approved it only wants an electric version.

Even the A3 hatchback will be pulled from the United States when a roomier sedan targeted at American consumers goes on sale in 2014.

Bentley, Porsche, and Lamborghini, the other three VW Group brands selling cars in the United States, plan to add SUVs and crossovers.

Porsche is considering an SUV smaller than the Cayenne. Bentley may get a luxury crossover.

Lamborghini is mulling a sedan based on the Estoque concept or an SUV.

(Source: Automotive News)