VW to take tiny spin in the city

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By KARLA PIN­COTT

A TINY city car is on Volk­swa­gen’s lo­cal plan.

Volk­swa­gen Aus­tralia head Anke Koeck­ler con­firms the com­pany would like to get the pro­duc­tion ver­sion of the lit­tle Up car here soon.

‘‘We are still work­ing on this but we are keen enough to get it out within the next two years,’’ Koeck­ler says.

‘‘Bet­ter ear­lier than later,’’ she says, ‘‘be­cause I think there is a de­mand.’’

Mo­tor shows over the past four years have seen a string of Up con­cepts in­clud­ing reardrive boxer en­gine, hy­brid and elec­tric ver­sions with hatch­back, con­vert­ible and multi-pur­pose bod­ies.

The pro­duc­tion ver­sion that will be un­veiled at Frank­furt Mo­tor Show in Septem­ber, how­ever, is set to have a su­per­fru­gal three-cylin­der en­gine, and will seat four cosily, we imag­ine, in a tiny three-door hatch body.

Koeck­ler says that while the seg­ment still is in its in­fancy, the Up might at­tract at­ten­tion over­all to the city car op­tion.

‘‘We have not a lot of competition in this seg­ment, but I think a lot of cus­tomers might like this seg­ment once we have the Up to of­fer,’’ she says.

‘‘In launch­ing this car in the Aus­tralian mar­ket, the strong cur­rency might help us to get the pos­i­tive an­swer from our head­quar­ters.’’

In the mean­time, while Koeck­ler looks for­ward to plug­ging gaps at the other end of the Volk­swa­gen line-up by adding new ver­sions of the Amarok ute, she says firm tim­ing still has not been set.

‘‘We are work­ing on hav­ing the sin­gle-cab Amarok, as we promised dur­ing our launch and we might have this car ac­tu­ally by next year,’’ she says.

‘‘We are work­ing also on au­to­matic ver­sions, be­cause we know we have to have the full range for the Amarok. But I can’t give you any feed­back on dates, to be hon­est.’’

The near fu­ture for Volk­swa­gen will fo­cus on the new Touareg ar­riv­ing in July.

Koeck­ler says that will boost flag­ging sales of the SUV, which has suf­fered sup­ply prob­lems.

‘‘We didn’t have the pro­duc­tion,’’ she says.

‘‘The cur­rent model Volk­swa­gen Aus­tralia has been sell­ing was out of stock pro­duc­tion some time ago.

‘‘Deal­ers have been able to work with only the re­main­ing stock­pile.

‘‘There’s not a lot of stock left. And I can tell you we are get­ting a lot of re­quests ask­ing when the new Touareg model is com­ing.’’

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