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Why Is Volkswagen Investing so Heavily in Sedans?

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author photo by Eric Brandt February 2019

Volkswagen has been making some odd choices about its product portfolio lately. The German automotive giant seemed to wise up to bringing more SUVs to the U.S. with the introduction of the Atlas -- but now it seems like VW is still betting a lot on sedans in a market that has firmly proclaimed that it really likes crossovers.

As I was looking at the images of the rather dull all-new VW Passat that was just unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show, it reminded me of the new Jetta and the upcoming Arteon -- and I realized the Volkswagen seems to be investing very heavily in sedans. The Arteon looks like it will be a very nice sedan, but was anyone really clamoring for a replacement for the CC? I was surprised that they didn't put the aging CC out to pasture with no replacement -- but alas, the Arteon is on its way as the premium full-size VW sedan that nobody asked for.

VW does deserve praise for the Atlas, which I think is a product that it desperately needed to stay relevant. However, there's another crossover SUV that for some reason still hasn't been confirmed for a U.S. release. I'm talking about the Volkswagen T-Roc, a new subcompact crossover slotted below the Tiguan to compete with the likes of the Honda HR-V and the Ford EcoSport.

Volkswagen T-Roc

This thing has been for sale in Europe since 2017, and I think it would be a huge hit here in the U.S. We clearly can't get enough of quirky little crossovers -- so why on Earth would Volkswagen bring the Arteon here, but not the T-Roc? I hope someone at VW USA is on the phone with the corporate office in Germany every day demanding this cute ute in American showrooms, because I can say with some confidence that American drivers would be a lot more interested in the T-Roc than the new Passat.

Speaking of VW crossovers with "T" in the name, there's another one in the works called the T-Cross. It's even smaller than the subcompact T-Roc -- and again, there's been no confirmation that this thing is coming to the U.S. The VW T-Cross is small, cute and would probably be quite affordable, and I think people would go crazy for it here.

Volkswagen T-Cross

Volkswagen has always had a cult following in the U.S. and it probably always will -- but despite being such a huge conglomerate, VW has a very small market share in the States. If VW wants to get serious about competing with the big American and Japanese players on American shores, it needs to not worry so much about updating its boring sedans and focus a lot more on bringing more crossovers -- especially ones it already builds -- to the U.S. market.

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Why Is Volkswagen Investing so Heavily in Sedans? - Autotrader