Hopefully, this means we won't be left cold waiting for VW, Audi, Bentley, and Lamborghini cars.
The Volkswagen Group has been experiencing delivery delays in the United States of late. Many of these delays can be attributed to Europe's new WLTP emissions testing procedure and the EPA's strict protocol at US ports before releasing cars to dealerships. So far, Audi has suffered with a shortage of A3, A4, and A5 models, the Porsche Cayenne was late to arrive in showrooms, and the VW Arteon has been delayed by over a year.
Although it won't solve all of the VW Group's issues, Automotive News reports that the German automaker is adding a new port in Baltimore, Maryland in order to help speed up deliveries in the mid-Atlantic and inland areas within the US.
The 155-acre terminal is set to open in early 2020 at the former Bethlehem Steel property on Sparrows Point. Once the port is open, it will be able to handle 120,000 Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, and VW vehicles per year. VW spokesman Mike Tolbert said there will be "significant" investment to build a 166,000-square-foot processing center but declined to put a dollar figure on the investment. Over 100 new jobs will be created at the port, as VW hopefully improves its delivery speed in the US.
There are multiple VW Group cars that we still cannot buy in the US, including the 2019 Golf R. Even though the 2019 Golf R is essentially identical to the 2018 model, it will finally offer VW's Spektrum Program, which lets owners choose from one of 40 incredible shades for a cost of $2,500. We did a search for Golf R listings in the US and couldn't find a single 2019 model for sale in the US (as of this writing). There are undoubtedly other VW Group cars that have been held up at the port but it is difficult to say whether the root cause is the EPA, the WLTP, the government shutdown, or just a lack of staff at the ports.