Volkswagen has big plans for more Atlas models

AFP Relaxnews December 19,2017

Volkswagen Atlas. Image: Volkswagen via AFP Relaxnews

The Volkswagen Atlas is the biggest SUV the company builds on its versatile MQB platform, and although it’s only been on sale in the United States for a mere seven months, the German auto giant is already planning a whole family of models based on it.

Over the last month, Volkswagen sold 5,154 units of the Atlas in America, which is way ahead of competitors such as the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot full-size SUVs. It’s also on a par with similar models from luxury brands, including the BMW X5, Acura MDX and the Cadillac XT5.

During a recent event for the new generation of the Jetta sedan, which is still VW’s biggest-selling vehicle in the U.S., the Group’s North American CEO, Hinrich Woebcken, admitted he wants an “Atlas family” to include an entry in the high-volume B-segment of the market.

The next model in the soon-to-be expanding Atlas family is likely to be a smaller five-seat model, but with a sportier or even a more off-road focused personality than the large, family-orientated Atlas. Woebcken told the media at the New York Auto Show earlier this year that the company already had a five-seat SUV in development, to be built at its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant.

It appears the VW Group is looking to establish the VW brand as a firmly family-friendly automaker, and one that’s well-placed to satisfy America’s incredible hunger for all things crossover and SUV right now.

Only last month, VW was reported to have applied to trademark the names “Atlas Cross Sport” and “Atlas Allsport” which may give a strong hint of what it has in mind for two future models.

The company has also applied to trademark the name “Apollo” which it has used in the past in Brazil for a small- two-door sedan, and could be the name for the new small crossover Woebcken has spoken of. JB


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