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Volkswagen CrossBlue still three years away

Lucky seven: The Volkswagen CrossBlue concept emerged in Detroit last January.

Golf-based seven-seat SUV to propel VW sales – if or when it arrives post-2016


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3 Oct 2013

VOLKSWAGEN Australia is sweating on a decision as to whether a proposed CrossBlue Concept-based seven-seater mid-sized SUV will be produced in right-hand drive.

The company is believed to be close to announcing its intention to manufacture the MQB-platform derived crossover shortly, either at a new facility in Mexico shared with Audi (which intends to build the next-generation Q5), or at the Chattanooga plant in Tennessee, USA.

It will be part of the company’s plans to grow volume in a sustainable manner heading into the next decade, backed up by the all-new Taigun baby crossover and next-generation Tiguan, as well as redesigned versions of the Passat, Polo and Up.

However, even if the Toyota Kluger competitor does get the green light for RHD and Down Under, you’ll have to wait some time after the proposed 2015 commencement of global production.

“Not until about 2016 would be my best estimation,” says Volkswagen Group Australia managing director John White.

Mr White has mirrored his predecessor Anke Koeckler’s comments made back when the CrossBlue Concept was unveiled in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit that it would make an ideal addition to the local line-up.

He has also called on other markets such as the United Kingdom to help ensure that right-hand drive development and manufacturing gets off the ground.

“We’ve put our hand up for this car, and we need to expand from segments that we’re present in, so we believe we need to be in the mid-sized SUV, compact, as well as the sub-compact SUV market.

“So our hand is up high, but the CrossBlue has not been confirmed. There has been assumptions made that the car is coming to the market, but right now it about two things: “1. Finding the appropriate production source for the car and 2. Ensuring that we can get other markets interested from a right-hand drive perspective.

“But I believe we’ve got an opportunity in this market with this vehicle for sure.” It appears that a whole new manufacturing line will have to be installed to accommodate the production CrossBlue (or whatever the roadgoing version is named), contributing to the delay of the vehicle.

Meanwhile, he poured cold water on rumours that the Amarok pick-up may be joined by a seven-seater passenger version in the vein of the Holden Colorado or upcoming Ford Everest, to take on the Toyota Prado.

“I don’t think that is on the cards. There are no plans, and it is not in our planning,” he said.

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