VW plans Polo MPV
28 May 2009
Author: Hugh Hunston
VW wil add a new supermini-MPV to the Polo range
Volkswagen is "actively" considering adding a Polo-based MPV to its product portfolio along with a Beetle successor as the company sustains its development programme while other major manufacturers cut back in response to the recession.
Hans Dieter Potsch, VW board member responsible for finance, said: "A mini-MPV is in an area we have under active consideration. In terms of downsizing, people will not stick to one type of small car or another."
A European VW source said: "You need to cover the various bases but not dilute the mix. Some firms with excellent core superminis struggle with mini-MPVs or crossovers and vice versa, but they can be complementary."
The Polo-based MPV could provide a more flexible successor to the discontinued Dune but along with a new Beetle, it is unlikely to appear until 2011 at the earliest.
Potsch said: "We have a very full product agenda and are cutting very little on the R and D front, in fact just the opposite. The market is changing more rapidly than we appreciated before. Cutting on development can place you in a troublesome position just when a recovery happens."
According to another VW insider the new Golf-based Beetle will be "less effeminate, more assertive and masculine so guys are not deterred from buying a girly car" and similar to the Ragster concept.
Meanwhile, Martin Ward, CAP Monitor's manufacturer relationship manager, predicted the new Polo, will "regain its RV crown at the head of the mainstream supermini ratings."