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VW car sales to bounce back in 2017

Goalpost shift: Volkswagen claims the facelifted Golf ‘7.5’ will redefine the small car segment when it arrives in Australia next July.

No Tiguan in year of SUV, small-segment slump a perfect storm for VW sales slide

26 Nov 2016

AUSTRALIAN Volkswagen sales are down 8.1 per cent to the end of October, with only strong commercial vehicle growth preventing a double-digit sales slide.

The only Volkswagen passenger model reporting a sales uptick is the Passat mid-size sedan and wagon, up 47.2 per cent, with the Polo light car down 18.9 per cent and the volume-leading Golf small hatch and wagon range down 12.2 per cent.

VW reports sales of pseudo-SUV Alltrack variants of the Passat and Golf separately, and these are up 119.7 and 368 per cent respectively.

Sales of the Jetta small sedan are down 20.8 per cent and the Touareg large SUV is down 13.6 per cent.

But a strong bounce-back is anticipated for 2017, with the top-spec Tiguan 162TSI arriving in late January to kick off the first full year of sales for the second-generation medium SUV that is expected to usurp the Amarok ute as Volkswagen’s second-best seller in Australia.

Aiding the resurgence will be the arrival of new Amarok variants throughout the year to join the just-launched V6 turbo-diesel.

These will include updated four-cylinder variants in the first quarter, a flash Aventura flagship mid-year and manual V6 options in the fourth quarter.

Following the top-spec Tiguan will be some as-yet unconfirmed special editions before Australia receives an onslaught of new metal from Volkswagen from mid-year.

Most significant will be the Golf ‘7.5’ facelift arriving in July with hatch, wagon and Alltrack pseudo-SUV formats, with hot GTI and R variants lobbing soon after – perhaps as early as August.

A mystery flagship model, which could be a production version of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE revealed at the 2015 Geneva motor show, will make its Australian debut around October.

Volkswagen Group Australia general manager of corporate communications Paul Pottinger told GoAuto the slump in Golf sales was related to 2016 being “the year of the SUV”, represented by a 4.8 per cent downward trend in small-segment volume.

Total SUV sales are up 9.4 per cent, outstripping overall car market growth of 2.4 per cent.

Mr Pottinger said Volkswagen had enjoyed strong sales early in the year until stocks of the old Tiguan dried up, leaving the brand without a volume-selling SUV until the second-generation model arrived in September.

“Essentially we had no SUV to sell in a 50-odd per cent SUV market,” he said, adding that data from Volkswagen’s Australian configurator website showed a high percentage of people specifying the Tiguan 162TSI that does not arrive until early next year.

“Most configurations are for that car and we had to launch without the top model. Pickup at the start of a new car’s lifecycle is predominantly the top model,” he said.

What's coming from VW in 2017
Tiguan 162TSIJanuary
Amarok 2.0 TDIQ1
Special EditionsFeb-May
Amarok AventuraMid-year
Golf 7.5July
Golf 7.5 GTI, RAugust
Mystery flagshipOctober
Crafter vanSecond half
Amarok V6 manualQ4

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