The green light has been given for the production of a new cabriolet model based on the T-Roc, the compact crossover SUV which Volkswagen launched last year. The new model, which will be the German carmaker’s first convertible SUV, will go on sale in the first half of 2020. A production volume of up to 20,000 vehicles a year is planned.

Along with the decision to develop the model, the Volkswagen Group Supervisory Board confirmed the investment of more than €80 million (about RM385.4 million) in the Osnabruck plant which is required for this purpose. The investment will allow the comprehensive modernization of production technology, assembly and logistics at the plant which was originally owned by Karmann and acquired by Volkswagen 8 years ago. Currently, Volkswagen Osnabruck assembles the Tiguan and Porsche Cayman as well as provides part of the painting process on the Skoda Fabia.

The factory in Osnabruck, Germany, which will produce the new cabriolet was originally owned by Karmann before it was acquired by Volkswagen in 2010.

“Volkswagen is evolving into an SUV brand. The T-Roc is already setting new standards in the compact SUV segment. With the cabriolet based on the T-Roc, we will be adding a highly emotional model to the range. I am especially pleased to note that we can count on the Osnabrück team’s decades of experience with convertibles. The Osnabrück plant now has bright prospects for the future,” said Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen brand.

The T-Roc

Volkswagen has been offering cabriolet variants of its popular models for almost 70 years

SUVs are currently making a key contribution to the growth of the Volkswagen Group’s core brand. With 720,000 Tiguans delivered, this model is among the 10 bestsellers models in the world and among the top three SUVs. By 2020, the brand intends to expand its SUV range throughout the world to 20 models. By then, about 40% of the vehicles sold by Volkswagen are to be SUVs.

With the new cabriolet based on the T-Roc, Volkswagen will further reinforce its presence in the compact SUV segment, one of the fastest-growing segments in global automobile markets. The new model continues Volkswagen’s cabriolet tradition which dates back almost 70 years.

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[Chips Yap]

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