Personal Finance

Will This New SUV Bring American Buyers Back to Volkswagen?

Vw Us Sales
Vw Us Sales

Data source: Automotive News.

As you can see, VW's U.S. sales in 2015 were down over 20% from 2012 levels. (And that's mostly before the effects of VW's diesel-emissions scandal. Through September, VW's U.S. sales are down another 12.5% this year.)

As we see in the second chart, the explanation for that drop is pretty simple: VW has so far mostly missed the SUV boom. VW has two SUVs, but they're not competitive with mass-market rivals and they've sold poorly here.

The chart compares the VW brand's total U.S. sales of "light trucks" with those of the Explorer, Highlander, and Pilot. These totals include the VW Touareg and Tiguan SUVs as well as the Routan minivan.

Vw Vs Suvs

Data source: Automotive News.

VW's total SUV (and minivan) sales in the U.S. haven't been anywhere close to the sales of any of the three competitors it has targeted as rivals for the Atlas.

Long story short: If VW wants to turn around its flagging fortunes in the U.S., a family-size crossover SUV will be essential. That makes the new Atlas a critical product.

VW hasn't said what the new Atlas will cost

Pricing (and fuel economy ratings) will be announced closer to the Atlas's launch next spring, the company said. Until we see the pricing, it's hard to gauge the Atlas's chances.

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John Rosevear owns shares of Ford. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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