Volkswagen Group chief executive officer Herbert Diess says he is not prepared to "give up on sedans" despite buyers continuing to move away from saloons towards SUVs.
Diess made the comments during a wide-ranging interview with Automotive News (in which he also seemingly confirmed his eagerness for the next-generation Amarok to be built on Ford’s Ranger platform).
“Should we give up on sedans? Some say that, but I don't think so,” Diess told the US-based publication.
“In China, for instance, they've been shifting toward SUVs for the last 10 years, and incredibly fast for the last five years. Their SUV share now is as high as it is in the United States. It's an incredible shift. But in the past five months, SUVs have stagnated and sedans are coming back,” he said.
The seventh-generation Jetta (pictured above) was revealed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2018, but is not destined for South Africa since there are no plans for it to be produced right-hand drive.
The 60-year-old furthermore suggested sedans could be back in favour once the market had started shifting away from internal combustion engines towards electric vehicles.
“Also, if you foresee electric cars coming, the big SUVs have a disadvantage because of their relatively high fuel consumption, which would require huge batteries.
“So to make big SUVs viable in the electric world is complicated. So if you have 50 km or 50 miles more range on a sedan, you might consider a sedan again,” Diess said.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.