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Passat spin-offs in the works

Volkswagen versatility: The steel-roofed Concept C cabriolet revealed in 2004 is in the pipeline from the PQ46 platform.

Volkswagen plans at least three new models based on the new Passat's underpinnings

11 Apr 2005

VOLKSWAGEN’S forthcoming new generation Passat, due in the final quarter of 2005, will be the first of several vehicles to spring from the PQ46 platform underpinning it, including a long-awaited folding-roof coupe-convertible.

Heavily based on the 2004 Concept C project, the steel-roofed cabriolet will sit in size between the Golf and Passat, making it slightly larger than the Peugeot 307 CC and Renault Megane opposition.

A full-sized people-mover to rival the Honda Odyssey and others of its ilk should also spring off PQ46, replacing the decade-old Sharan MPV codeveloped with Ford.

A development of the all-new Passat, known internally as the B6 series, for the growing Chinese market is also in the pipeline. The 1981 B2 Passat-derived Santana sedan has been built there for most of that time, helping VW to achieve a particularly strong following.

VW fuels dealers

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia will increase its retail presence for mainstream passenger cars and commercial vehicles, expanding the number of dealerships to 60 by the end of this year. It currently has 50 retail outlets.

"We need to feed the network," said VW Group Australia general manager – press and public relations, Matthew Wiesner. "From five dealers in Sydney in July 2004, we now have 10 – including Penrith. "The increase in regional and rural appointments is partly driven by the increase in diesel sales as well as commercial vehicles." A service point in Alice Springs is also slated, to help facilitate Volkswagen’s commercial vehicle push, particularly in the camper home areas with T5 and LT models, as well as backing up the wanderlust of Touareg buyers.

3 center imageVolkswagen also intends to further its commitment to its specialised commercial dealer networks as the ramp-up of new models – started last year with the introduction of the T5 Transporter line – continues.

"The commercial centres make sense for better customer service, more focused and specialised product knowledge, and piece of mind for buyers," Mr Wiesner said. The recently introduced Golf-based Polish-built Caddy light commercial van, as well as an all-new version of the big LT van later next year, could also do with the support.

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