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Volkswagen of America does not have plans to offer the Passat Wagon in North America. Despite reports of the Passat wagon undergoing testing in the U.S, the vehicle was never intended to be sold here.
Part of the problem is that wagons have lost substantial market share with the advent of crossovers. Volvo, which has always offered the traditional station wagon, no longer offers either the V70 or V50 in North America because of slumping sales. With VW’s focus on achieving big sales numbers, the automaker doesn’t see the wagon as a worthwhile endeavor. Volkswagen is instead working on a three-row crossover, priced like the Honda Pilot or Ford Explorer for around $30,000, as many former station wagon buyers have shifted to this segment. For anyone who still enjoys Volkswagen wagons, the Jetta SportWagen is still available.
[Source: Car and Driver]
Volvo enthusiasts and station wagons go together like peanut butter and jam. This desire for Volvo-wagons is especially strong in America, where the brand loyalists keep complaining about the lack of wagons, especially since it was announced awhile back that the sleek new V60 would not make it Stateside.
Not to worry, the new CEO of Volvo Stephen Jacoby has heard your pleas and is coming to your rescue. He has now hinted that the new V60 might come to the U.S.A. perhaps as an “enthusiast vehicle.”
But before you start celebrating the return of something like the old V70R, this new model will get its power boost via electricity. Yes, Volvo is well on its way to develop a hybrid gas-electric vehicle and this technology might premiere in the new V60.
Hopefully this should be enough to keep Volvo fans in Volvo showrooms.
In 2007 Volvo partnered with Swedish energy company Vattenfall to examine ways to work together and now the duo has agreed to develop a plug-in diesel hybrid for production by 2012. This summer Volvo will unveil three initial test vehicles based on the V70 wagon.
“We are investing in an industrial joint venture to series-produce plug-in hybrid cars in Sweden in 2012, cars that can be powered by both electricity and diesel,” said Volvo CEO Stephen Odell. “This is an important business development for us and our partnership with Vattenfall allows us to take a giant step toward offering our customers cars with an even smaller environmental footprint.”
The cars will feature an electric motor and a lithium-ion batter pack, which can be recharged from a conventional wall outlet in five hours.
“We want to reinforce electricity’s importance in society and its key role in solving climate issues,” says Vattenfall CEO Lars G Josefsson. “Through this cooperation we hope to be able to speed up the introduction of electric cars. Together we are developing the next-generation technology based on plug-in cars and various charging alternatives.”
Vattenfall will also offer customers the ability to sign a contract ensuring that the electricity delivered to their house is generated by wind power or hydro power, further reducing the environmental impact of the car.
GALLERY: Volvo V70 Plug-In Diesel Hybrid
Official release after the jump: