Not only is Volkswagen’s recently unveiled T-Roc subcompact crossover destined to avoid U.S. shores, Volkswagen’s Canadian dealers won’t be offering the T-Roc, either.
Revealed last week, we had always assumed the T-Roc was the logical next step for a Volkswagen brand that had suffered long and hard from a limited, delayed, premium SUV strategy in North America.
But it turns out Volkswagen of America will skip the T-Roc, likely in favor of a different small utility vehicle. So we asked Volkswagen Canada whether the T-Roc would arrive for the 2018 model year, the 2019 model year, or never at all.
Volkswagen’s response is the third option. “At least for now,” company spokesperson Thomas Tetzlaff tells TTAC.
Surely small-car-loving Canada — where the Honda Civic has been Canada’s top-selling car for 19 consecutive years and subcompact cars hold 19 percent more market share than they do in the U.S. — wants another subcompact crossover? Nah, not so much. Like Americans, Canadians haven’t fully latched onto the subcompact crossover, either. Not yet.
Largely on the basis of massive year-over-year growth from the Honda HR-V, Canadian sales of subcompact crossovers are up 13 percent this year. Of the 4,611 additional sales generated by the segment in 2017’s first seven months, 3,071 were of the Honda variety.
24 percent of the subcompact crossovers sold in Canada in 2017 have been HR-Vs. General Motors owns another 21 percent of the segment with the Encore and Trax.
With the America’s segment leader, the Jeep Renegade, failing to generate much Canadian attention and consequently elevate the segment as a whole, the subcompact crossover category garners the same amount of market share north of the border that it does south of the border: a tick over 3 percent.
Perpetually late to the game, Volkswagen’s entry into this sphere will be further delayed. The T-Roc, for reasons Volkswagen won’t share, is directed more specifically at Europe and China, markets that account for 80 percent of global subcompact crossover volume.
Holding the fort for the time being will be a carryover edition of the first-generation Tiguan known as the Tiguan Limited. With dimensions as suitable for the subcompact sector as the compact sector where the new Tiguan will do battle, the Tiguan Limited’s U.S. price cut places it squarely in the sights of vehicles such as the HR-V and Subaru Crosstrek, which is all new for the 2018 model year.