The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - First Drive -

FACED with de­clin­ing sales of its pas­sen­ger car range, Volk­swa­gen is re­dou­bling ef­forts on its SUV line-up. Golf, Polo and Pas­sat sales are down by al­most a quar­ter this year but the pop­u­lar­ity of the new Tiguan and Amarok V6 ute has soft­ened the blow. Some ex-com­pany fleet Amarok V6s have been snapped up for more than the sticker price of new mod­els.

VW Aus­tralia boss Michael Bartsch says the brand has suf­fered by not hav­ing the right SUV-to-car mix, with only Tiguan and Touareg in the line-up. “It is not a big enough range and this is one of the main op­por­tu­ni­ties for us,” he says.

That will be ad­dressed in the next two years, with five new mod­els mooted, in­clud­ing a baby SUV to sit un­der the Tiguan.

Mean­while, the brand will have a spe­cial edi­tion Touareg next month and an ex­panded Golf All­track range in­clud­ing new petrol and diesel mod­els in July.

The seven-seater Tiguan Allspace due early next year will sit be­tween the Tiguan and Touareg. With a longer wheel­base than the Hyundai Santa Fe, it will be clas­si­fied as a large SUV. On the Amarok front, two new 4WD four-cylin­der vari­ants will pack ex­tra equip­ment and a Canyon V6 ar­rives in Oc­to­ber. RB

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