VW May Sell Polo in the U.S.
By Brendan Moore
Volkswagen may sell the sub-compact Polo, its model below the Golf in size and price, in the United States next year, according to an article in Handelsblatt, a German business daily. VW said it may also sell the microbus concept “Space Up!” in the U.S.
“I will meet with our 600 dealers in the USA this week and ask them ‘do you need the VW Polo’,” Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn told Handelsblatt in an article published on Tuesday.
Every auto manufacturer is now looking at the American market with fresh eyes as it has become apparent that there is now demand for smaller cars. Almost every foreign car company has one or two models that it has sold in their respective home market for years, but never considered selling in the U.S. because of Americans’ penchant for big iron. But as gasoline prices rise, many Americans are now considering driving something smaller.
Volkswagen AG is to move the production of its Polo car from Brussels to Setubal, Portugal in conjunction with the introduction of the new Polo model in mid-2009 for cost reasons, but even if the Polo were produced in Portugal, it would still be a money-loser for VW at current exchange rates. If the dollar continues to lose value against the euro, the only way for VW to make a profit on the Polo would be to produce the car in the U.S.
VW is currently considering production facilities in the southern region of the United States. The U.S. production plant is expected to produce at least two models and quite possibly could accommodate production of three models.
VW Space Up! Concept
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