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Volkswagen to invest >$3.3B in N American up to 2020; first MEB-based EV for US will be an SUV

With the intention of becoming a key volume supplier in North America, Volkswagen will invest more than $3.3 billion in the region over the next three years. Some $1.2 billion of this will go toward projects in the US. The aim is for the Volkswagen brand to achieve a break-even in terms of operating profits in North America by 2020.

The new seventh-generation Jetta unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show (earlier post) will be a key element of Volkswagen’s brand campaign in North America, the company said. In addition, the Chattanooga-built Atlas SUV, the all new long-wheelbase Tiguan SUV and refreshed, longer range e-Golf have also been launched in the region. Volkswagen’s plan is to launch at least two new models each year in the US market going forward.

Together with Golf, Passat and Beetle, the Jetta is one of our most popular Volkswagens—and the Number One Volkswagen in the US. We have re-engineered it 100 percent, taking it to a new level. And it is one of the keys to our future success in the United States. By 2020, we will offer at least two new US models annually, covering key segments in the United States.

—Dr. Herbert Diess, Volkswagen Brand CEO


Dr. Diess and the new Jetta.

Apart from the new Jetta, the Arteon will be launched in America this year, with the new Passat to follow in 2019. Additional SUV models based on the MQB architecture will follow.

The first of a new family of full battery electric vehicles will be added starting in 2020 and will be based on the newly developed modular electric drive matrix (MEB). Volkswagen re-affirmed that the first MEB model to go on sale in America will be an SUV. (Earlier post.)

The North American region contributed to the overall delivery record of the Volkswagen brand in 2017 with around 592,000 units sold (+1.9%, 580,600 vehicles in 2016). Some 6.23 million Volkswagen passenger cars were delivered to customers worldwide in 2017, 250,000 vehicles more than in the previous year.

We made significant progress towards the comeback of the Volkswagen brand in the US in 2017. The Atlas, our new mid-size SUV, is attracting significant interest among customers. While the market declined in general, we were able to increase our sales and gain market share.

—Hinrich Woebcken, CEO Volkswagen North America

Volkswagen said that it has made considerable progress in dealing with the diesel issue in the US; more than 80 percent of the 540,000 vehicles affected in the US have already been retrofitted or bought back.

Volkswagen launched the largest model offensive in the history of the brand as part of the "TRANSFORM 2025+" strategy. More than 50 vehicles are currently in development. Volkswagen intends to bring more than ten new models and derivate to market globally every year until 2020 and thus further expand its position as a leading volume manufacturer.


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