Different countries. Different models.
The new Virtus: A Volkswagen made in South America for South America.
Volkswagen is a familiar sight on roads all over the world. But, just like food or literature, regional tastes vary quite a bit. That’s why it’s so important to deliver models tailored to the needs, likes and pocketbooks of people in any particular country. It’s why you see the Volkswagen Saveiro in Brazil, for example, or the Santana in China—both are bestsellers, although they’re fairly unknown in Europe and North America.
GEARING UP FOR THE FUTURE WITH TAILOR-MADE MODELS
In future, you’ll be seeing even more of these local stand-outs in the product portfolio. After all, a key element of the Volkswagen “Transform 2025+” strategy is to strengthen the regions. The most recent step towards this is the Volkswagen Virtus, which will soon make its debut in Brazil. The sedan was developed in the country and will also be built there.
Volkswagen is the third largest carmaker in Brazil, with a market share just under 13 percent. Brazil is back in growth mode after the economic crisis, and Volkswagen will be there—investing some $2.85 billion in Brazil from now until 2020, with 20 new models scheduled to be developed there.
The Virtus is following in the footsteps of the new Polo. Both are based on the “MQB”, the Modular Transverse Toolkit platform. So they represent state-of-the-art Volkswagen technology.
The next home-grown products for South America will be an SUV and a pick-up and decisions on design and equipment are being made by the local Volkswagen management team. As the Board Member for Sales, Jürgen Stackmann, explains: “Our local colleagues know best what the markets want.”
AND WHAT DO THEY WANT?
The Virtus is a compact sedan. The 4.48 m long fastback will set new standards in its class in terms of technology, conductivity, comfort, spaciousness and performance. The Virtus is the first Volkswagen model and the first car in South America to feature assistance systems using artificial intelligence to support the driver. This web-based function is the result of cooperation between Volkswagen and the IBM IT group.
The Modular Transverse Toolkit (MQB) also brings benefits in terms of interior design. With its wheelbase of 2.65 m, the Virtus offers space for five adults as well as one of the largest cargo spaces in its class, with a capacity of 521 litres.