MEXICO CITY -- Volkswagen AG plans to start exporting its Variant station wagon from Mexico to the U.S. early in 2008 and will show it at the Detroit auto show in January.
But when asked whether the vehicle will be called a Golf Variant, as in Europe, which is the only region so far where the car is marketed, a senior Volkswagen source in Mexico told Automotive News:
I cant tell you the name. It might be an entirely different name.
Variant production started at the companys Puebla plant in central Mexico, Volkswagens only one in North America, in February. No other country produces the vehicle. Through the end of October, 50,000 Variants had been assembled and all had been shipped to Europe.
The car is not sold in Mexico yet.
With an installed production capacity of 450,000 vehicles, the Puebla plant produced a little more than 400,000 vehicles this year, up from 348,000 in 2006 but below the 425,000-vehicle record set in the year 2000.
Eighty per cent of the plants production, which also includes the new generation Jetta (built on an A5 platform), the New Beetle and the old generation Jetta (built on an A4 platform), is exported.
Fifty percent of exports go to the U.S. and Canada and 50 percent to Europe, South America and Asia.
Asked if the expected New Beetle replacement will be built in Mexico, the source said: I hope so.
He added that Volkswagen will make an announcement about new investments in Puebla in January. Michael Glos, Germanys minister for economics and technology, is expected to visit the plant the same month.