Volkswagen’s next Sharan minivan, its new Microbus and the replacement for the Transporter light-commercial vehicle may use the same platform.
VW executives are rethinking the group’s approach to minivans and light-commercial vehicles because of changing competitive conditions.
Those conditions include:
Individually, the next Sharan, Transporter and new Microbus wouldn’t generate enough sales volume to make business sense, VW executives say.
So VW is considering basing all three models on its new T5 commercial-vehicle platform. Using the same platform also would speed development.
VW’s Microbus concept has tested well at auto shows. It was first seen in Detroit in January 2001. The concept recalls the old VW Microbus widely associated with hippies in the 1960s.
“But we need production volume before we decide to build that particular version,” said Bernd Pischetsrieder, chairman of the Volkswagen Group. “A decision will be made in June.”