Volkswagen now has 14 SUVs in its global lineup.
Just a few years ago, Volkswagen only had two SUVs in its lineup. Now, as customer demand for SUVs has boomed beyond everyone's expectations, that number has increased to 14, allowing VW to cover just about every segment niche from mid-size SUVs like the popular Atlas, compact crossovers like the Tiguan, coupe SUVs like the Atlas Cross Sport, and everything else in between.
VW's SUV onslaught helped the company's sales increase significantly, particularly in the US. But while other automakers like Audi continue to expand their SUV range, VW's R&D boss, Frank Welsch, has told Autocar the automaker now has enough SUVs in its lineup to satisfy market demands and fears that adding too many new SUVs could dilute sales.
"I don't think [the growth in SUVs] is over, but we have enough. We do not need 10 more. We have to take care. We must have a portfolio that is efficient as a volume player," Welsch told Autocar. "If we have too many models and sell 30,000 or 40,000 units a year, we can't make money. We will focus on the cars that can be successful."
Welsch added that VW will reduce the number of models built on its MQB platform "step by step," but didn't specify which models will be axed. VW models that are built on the MQB platform include the Arteon, Touran and Passat.
Looking ahead, Volkswagen's SUV family will expand with two very important models: the 2021 Tiguan and the ID.4. The Tiguan is getting a facelift for the 2021 model year to keep the popular crossover looking fresh, while the ID.4 will be the production version of the ID. Crozz and VW's first electric SUV.
As Volkswagen prepares to launch new models and axe some of its current ones, Welsch believes the number of cars VW will sell will be similar in the future. "I don't think we'll have more cars than we have today. For SUVs, we are represented in every segment," he said.