Despite a growing number of small cars entering the US market in recent years, Volkswagen, one of the original pioneers of such vehicles over here with the Type 1 (Beetle) and Mk I Golf (Rabbit), has no plans to bring over either it’s new Up! or the Polo.
The company cites the traditional argument that small cars have thin profit margins, especially when they have to be imported, as VW would have to do with the Up! and Polo, at least in the short term.
Furthermore, with Volkswagen having just recently re-established a production facility in the US and with plans to significantly expand capacity in an effort to become a true volume player over here (led by models such as the redesigned North American market Jetta and Passat), the need to expand VW’s dealer network as well as supply chains (which brings with it significant costs and headaches), means the timing simply isn’t right to introduce a low volume, low profit niche vehicle, like the Polo or Up!
That doesn’t mean we’ll never see a VW badged subcompact on our shores, it just means it won’t happen for the time being. Nonetheless, Volkswagen is keeping a close eye on North America, in terms of market demand for small cars and also gas prices. Should the price of fuel rise significantly above $4 per gallon again, then perhaps it might reconsider; company product planner Rainer Michel, in a recent interview with Car & Driver stating that VW “could bring the Polo here tomorrow,” if needed.
[Source: Car & Driver]