Volkswagen AG is working to plug two holes in its U.S. lineup by offering a minivan and a small SUV.
Both models are being developed, though not fast enough for dealers.
VW Chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder talked with retailers about the models this month in Los Angeles.
He said VW will offer an SUV based on the Golf in the second half of 2006. The SUV - called Project 356 inside the company - will be similar in size to the Jeep Liberty, says VW dealer Al Gossett, of Gossett Motor Cars in Memphis, Tenn.
"That vehicle has been committed," says Gossett, a member of the Volkswagen National Dealer Advisory Council. "We anxiously await the introduction. That is a huge segment that we've got to be involved in - the SUV in the $21,000 to $23,000 price range."
Mike Sullivan, owner of Volkswagen Santa Monica, in Santa Monica, Calif., says the SUV will probably be larger than Toyota's RAV4.
"They understand that too small is not good," Sullivan says.
The Jeep Liberty was one vehicle that came up in Pischetsrieder's conversation with dealers.
"(Dealers) seemed to think that that was a pretty good size," Sullivan says. "A Toyota RAV4 is perhaps a hair too small."
Dealers were not shown the SUV, Sullivan says.