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Volkswagen Group Plans New U.S. Models

Volkswagen Group has made some major announcements regarding the company’s U.S. plans this week.

Earlier this week, in an interview with Michael Horn, head of VW’s U.S. operations, it was revealed that the German automaker is preparing to introduce new products every five years to stay up-to-date with customer demand for younger vehicles.
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VW currently introduces completely revamped vehicles every seven years, tweaking them after four. “Customers want quicker change,” Horn said. “We’re working to shorten the life cycle of the products to bring more new features and design elements, in terms of face-lifts, to the market quicker. We believe we have a positive business case. It commercially makes sense that we move.”

The faster pace of introductions, which a management board committee must still sign off on next month, wouldn’t start until 2017 at the earliest, meaning it wouldn’t help much toward the company’s goal of reaching 800,000 VW brand sales in the U.S. by 2018, Horn said.

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The move is expected to recover a portion of the market share, which is currently down 10 percent from last year.

2015 VW Passat
Concept Sketch of 2015 VW Passat.
Photo Credit: VW

Unfortunately, one upcoming member of the VW family will not be making a stateside appearance. A glimpse at some concept sketches and details of the newly-redesigned VW Passat, were made available this week as well. The official debut is set to take place at Paris in October.

VW say the new car will be 85 kg liter than the outgoing model thanks to the use of lighter materials in construction meaning a saving of up to 20% in fuel efficiency.

Under the bonnet the engine range will be joined by a new, biturbo 2.0 litre petrol unit producing 236 bhp and an impressive 368 lb ft of torque.

That pushing power will be routed through a seven-speed double clutch ‘box and four wheel drive.

Alongside that, the first Passat hybrid will be offered, in the form of a plug-in model with a range of around 600 miles on one tank of gasoline and 31 miles on electric power alone.

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