Turns out the Volkswagen T-Roc isn't coming to the US after all.
It's no secret that the crossover market is booming right now and automakers are tripping over themselves to cash in on the demand. Volkswagen, for example, has been launching a spate of region-specific SUVs and crossovers, the most recent being the T-Roc bound for Europe and China which debuted at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show. While the electrified I.D. Crozz will launch in North America first, VW seems reluctant to launch a dedicated compact crossover for the US, despite being by far the most lucrative market for crossovers and SUVs.
That is soon about to change, however. Speaking to Autoblog at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Volkswagen director of development Dr. Frank Welsch revealed that the German automaker is plotting a secret compact crossover for the US in either 2019 or 2020 positioned below the Touareg, Atlas and Tiguan. "We are checking the feasibility of a car which is right between T-Roc and Tiguan, and this could be interesting for America," he said. "In the U.S., you have Tiguan long wheelbase, and the other [new] one is close to what we have here in Europe as the Tiguan SWB. It's a little bit smaller than that, about the size of the old Tiguan, but new and it's off the MQB. This is the idea behind it."
In China, we will have this car next year, and we are thinking whether this could be a good idea for America and Russia." Like the seven-seat Atlas, Volkswagen's next unnamed compact crossover won't be sold in its German homeland. It will also be less expensive than the higher-spec T-Roc, and form part of VW's strategy to have SUVs make up a third of its line-up by 2020, with 19 models planned globally. As for why the T-Roc won't be available Stateside despite sources claiming otherwise? Put simply, it's too small to justify the asking price in such a crowded segment in the US. "Let's be very clear: The T-Roc will not go to the U.S." said Welsch.
"I don't believe it's too expensive, but it's because it's a very small car. They tell us people in the U.S. expect more size for that money. It is too small. We are going to have an SUV that is even smaller than a T-Roc [the T-Cross] and it will also not go to the U.S."