A three-row, seven-seat version of the 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan has been confirmed to be built at the German brand's Puebla assembly plant in Mexico.
News of the new seven-seat Volkswagen Tiguan isn't groundbreaking - CarAdvice reported on it way back in May 2014 - but this confirmation that the new model will be built in Mexico comes following the announcement of US$1 billion ($1.31b) of investment into the brand's Puebla plant.
That undoubtedly means the main focus of the move is to shore up the company's market share in North America, but it is unconfirmed at this point in time as to whether both left- and right-hand drive versions of the longer Tiguan model will be built.
It is feasible that Volkswagen Australia will take the seven-seat Tiguan from Mexico, as the maker currently imports the Mexican-built Jetta. We asked the company's local arm, and a spokesman told us it was "too soon to say".
Production of the three-row Tiguan will be capped at 500 units per day, with a release from the brand stating it "will be supplied to North and South America, as well as other world markets (excluding the European Union and China)".
The car will commence production late in 2016, reaching markets in 2017, according to a statement from Volkswagen Group of America. The company's president and CEO, Michael Horn, said that localising supply is set to improve sales in the US market.
"Localization has become key to safeguarding our competitive position on the global market and manufacturing the Tiguan in Mexico will bring production closer to the US market," said Horn, indicating that approximately 90 per cent of VW products will be built in the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) region.
The new, longer Tiguan - which CarAdvice has reported will feature a boot space of more than 500 litres - will likely span 4.7 metres in length (about the size of a Hyundai Santa Fe), up notably over the current 4.4m model. The seven-seat model will be built as an aside to the regular five-seat Tiguan, while a Cross Coupe model - as presaged by the concept of that name, pictured above - could also be offered.
At the Detroit auto show, Horn told CarAdvice that the new model will be more of a 5+2 seater, rather than a proper big bus.
"The third row in the compact SUV is more for emergency for smaller children, so the comparison, if the family wants a true seven-seater they will not consider the compact SUV. We clearly keep them apart," he said, cross-referencing the larger SUV that is destined to be based on the CrossBlue concept.