Though the regular lifecycle of automobile models likes to hover near seven years and four years for the mid-cycle refresh, VW is looking to change that as part of their bid to dominate the industry. Though they slotted in below Toyota and beat out GM for FY2013, the eight-brand conglomerate known for the people’s car, Bugatti, Audi and Porsche, to name a few, sold 9.72 million cars sold last year. Volkswagen’s North America CEO, Michael Horn, revealed these plans in an interview with Bloomberg.
Though VW’s offerings garnered customers with a higher-than-average knowledge of that magical whirring mystery in front of the firewall in the past, this trend has slowed and traditional consumer-level marketing has possibly necessitate this change. As the white, amorphous AWD, CVT-enslaved hatchback referred to as the “crossover” gains more traction, expect to see VW popping out a new Tiguan and other models on a regular basis starting in 2017.
As VW has reasonably deep pockets, it will be interesting to see how this plays out, on one hand the five-year cycle will be a costly R&D-fest, on the other, VW might not ‘turn it up to 11’ for each new generation, and we might get a new Jetta every five years in the same way that we got a new, aluminum Ford F150 with very similar look and feel inside to the old truck: a strong fleet allegiance and interior and exterior redesigns kept the Ford Panther platform afloat for many moons at very little cost to Ford and this may be the way that VW goes. This concept seems to be gaining traction quicker and quicker as many car companies including VW are forced to lose dollars on compliance cars (like the $14,000 that Fiat Chrysler loses on each electric Fiat 500 that rolls off the lot).
-By: Sawyer Sutton