The next-generation Volkswagen Tiguan due to launch in Australia around August next year is expected to at least double in sales over its popular predecessor, and take it right up to buyers’ champions such as the Mazda CX-5, Nissan X-Trail and Toyota RAV4.
Volkswagen’s ambitious expansion plans with its SUV staple — which will grow to better rival those listed above — mirror what it has done with the Polo and Golf, both of which sit at the pointy end of their respective classes in terms of sales against Japanese and Korean rivals.
According to departing Volkswagen Group Australia managing director John White — who retires at the end of the month, something long signposted — the next Tiguan has what it takes to crack to the top three.
As you can read here, the new Tiguan offers more space everywhere — something that should see it reclassified as a medium SUV, rather than a small one locally — greater levels of technology and efficiency, and a far more upmarket execution than its ageing predecessor.
Crucially, there’ll also be a long-wheelbase version available in around two years, and a sporty ‘coupe’ variant to battle Mazda’s upcoming ‘CX-4’.
“There’s a great opportunity with Tiguan… I think we can double it (current volumes) once we have all three derivatives,” White said. The outgoing model did 5182 units in its last full year. Double that would see it easily outselling the likes of the Subaru Forester.
All of this plus continued growth across the small SUV (up 26 per cent this year) and medium SUV (up 13 per cent) space, at the expense of passenger cars, gives White confidence.
“Absolutely,” he said, adding that he was “crawling all over it and got really exited” at the car’s global reveal in Frankfurt last month.
“That segment is growing. We’d be selling more Tiguans now except for one reason — it’s in its last year and we’re sort of winding it down,” he said.
“I honestly think what this brand can do in Australia is with Polo, Tiguan and Golf, we can be right up there, as part of our long-term strategy, with the top three. No doubt about it.”
As we have previously reported, Volkswagen Australia wants to move from being Australia’s eighth-most popular car brand at present to the top five by 2020 — something it is still committed to in the wake of the ‘dieselgate’ fiasco.