Volkswagen considers expanding SUV range

Volkswagen considers expanding SUV range

German car maker Volkswagen has plans to triple the number of SUVs in its line-up to overhaul Toyota in international sales, according to two industry insiders.

The two insiders, who requested anonymity, said that the company will increase its SUV range to as many as six over the next few years, expanding from the current compact Tiguan and the mid-size Touareg.

According to consulting firm PwC there is a fast-growing demand for SUVs, with the market share is likely to grow to 20.1% over the next four years compared to 17.6% two years ago. Volkswagen's focus on traditional vehicles such as the Passat and Golf hatchback has held it back in markets such as the United States, where competitors offer more sports utility vehicles.

An analyst at Munich-based consulting company Strategy Engineers, Roman Mathyssek, said that the SUV segment is still expanding internationally and has become a crucial segment for all car manufacturers. He added: "The VW brand still has growth potential in SUVs, which could help them to build a stronger position in the US and emerging markets."

The Tiguan will be revamped as a lighter vehicle next year to improve fuel consumption, and Volkswagen is busy working on a coupe variant and longer version of this model. Volkswagen might also introduce a sub-compact crossover with both SUV and traditional car characteristics, choosing between the coupe-like T-Roc and boxy Tiguan prototypes. The brand's biggest SUV, which was also its first, will remain the Touareg.