Volkswagen's Eos convertible won't be delayed as long as expected, dealers were told at their make meeting.
Several weeks ago, Volkswagen of America told dealers they wouldn't get the Passat-based hardtop convertible until September - not the best time to start selling an open-air vehicle.
But Adrian Hallmark, executive vice president of Volkswagen of America since last fall, says the car likely will be in showrooms in June because problems with the folding roof have been solved.
The Eos adds to a busy launch year for VW. With Hallmark newly installed at the helm and important new products on the way, Volkswagen of America seeks to increase sales by at least 5 percent this year.
Hallmark said the key is "getting the product positioned right and getting the brand image where it needs to be."
This year, VW also debuts the GTI, Golf and Passat wagon. Next year's launches include the Jetta wagon and possibly a performance car similar to the previous-generation Golf-based R32. VW also is considering a production version of the GX3 concept - a three-wheel vehicle with a 1.6-liter engine that would be priced under $18,000.
"Dealers only want to know how fast and many GX3s we can get," says Bob Grace, dealer council chairman and owner of Southpoint Volkswagen in Baton Rouge, La.
In 2008, dealers will get a minivan developed by the Chrysler group and a smaller SUV based on the VW Golf.
You may e-mail Diana T. Kurylko at [email protected]