A high-ranking Volkswagen executive has admitted the Wolfsburg-based firm’s decision to put the new T-Roc Cabriolet into production was not a “rational” one.
Speaking to Autocar, Jürgen Stackmann, member of the board responsible for sales, marketing and after sales, described open-top vehicles as “the ultimate expression of emotional mobility”.
“It’s got lost in the last few years. The momentum for convertibles is over,” Stackmann admitted.
“The opportunity to combine what people really want now [a C-segment crossover] with a cabriolet that has a long-standing tradition in the Volkswagen brand was a great opportunity.
“For us, it had to look good, so we decided after seeing the first prototype to build it. From a rational side, you would never go into the cabriolet market,” he said.
Stackmann went on to rule out a hot R-badged version of the new model.
“R is about high power, high performance and four-wheel drive, and we don’t think any of those are right for this. It would have very limited appeal on the market, so we won’t,” he said.
VW says the two-door convertible’s fully automated, electro-hydraulic soft-top opens in nine seconds at speeds up to 30 km/h, while claiming the interior is “quiet thanks to both the sophisticated design of the soft top” and the “specially developed” window and door seals.
Volkswagen South Africa earlier told CARmag.co.za while the standard T-Roc would be introduced locally in 2020, there were “no confirmed plans” to add the T-Roc Cabriolet to the SA range.