Global de­mand

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Motoring -

Volk­swa­gen Group Aus­tralia has been forced to push back the ar­rival of the much an­tic­i­pated – and much needed – T-roc small SUV, with world­wide de­mand far out­strip­ping sup­ply.

Launch­ing in Europe now, the Por­tuguese-built small SUV’S pro­duc­tion run has al­ready been in­creased to 200,000 units a year, but it is not enough to sup­ply ex­pected Aus­tralian de­mand.

This means the smaller, Polo-based cross­over – dubbed T-cross – is likely to beat the larger sub-tiguan T-roc to mar­ket.

The T-cross, which Volk­swa­gen hopes to re­tail in line with its Golf pric­ing struc­ture, is not ex­pected to be seen in Aus­tralia be­fore late 2019, and while there is no date be­ing placed on the ar­rival of the T-roc by the com­pany, it could push out to 2020.

Volk­swa­gen Aus­tralia manag­ing di­rec­tor Michael Bartsch told Goauto at the launch of the Ar­teon sedan that the de­ci­sion had been taken in­ter­nally to push back the launch of the T-roc by at least 12 months.

“We need to tem­per our ex­pec­ta­tions on the T-roc,” he said.

“The de­ci­sion has been just re­cently made, after much de­bate and much con­sid­er­a­tion, to take us off the short­term list for T-roc. They sim­ply can’t get the pro­duc­tion up to where they need to in­tro­duce it here.

“I’ve been in this business long enough to know that, if you’re go­ing to do some­thing, do it prop­erly.

“I don’t want to bring a car out here that is stran­gled for vol­ume, you can’t get enough and then you dis­ap­point peo­ple and you get peo­ple pinged off.

“I’d rather do it prop­erly and make sure we put ev­ery­thing right.”

Mr Bartsch said he be­lieved po­ten­tial sales for the T-roc, T-cross and Tiguan com­bined was es­ti­mated at 15,000 cars per an­num.

The T-cross – which was pre­viewed by the T-cross Breeze con­vert­ible cross­over con­cept at last year’s Geneva mo­tor show – is set to be the more af­ford­able car of the pair.

Mr Bartsch con­firmed the com­pany would fo­cus on po­si­tion­ing the smaller cross­over while it waited for pro­duc­tion slots for the T-roc.

He said the com­pany learned a les­son with the Tiguan, which was in short sup­ply in Aus­tralia.

The wait list for pre­mium Tiguan vari­ants has pushed out to six months.

“It has been so frus­trat­ing,” Mr Bartsch said.

“The good news is there’s noth­ing bet­ter than de­mand out­strip­ping sup­ply.

“We’ve been the gap be­tween de­mand and sup­ply just sim­ply be­ing too big.

“The same thing would hap­pen with T-roc.

“And so, we said we need to just park it for a year and come back to it and re­ally ex­am­ine it, and just fo­cus on get­ting the T-cross out.”

Goauto un­der­stands the com­pany is in­ves­ti­gat­ing adding ca­pac­ity at other suit­able plants around the world that also pro­duce ve­hi­cles built on the shared MQB plat­form that un­der­pins the Golf, Tiguan and T-roc.

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