PUEBLA, Mexico -- With the end of Beetle output, Volkswagen Group will begin producing the Tarek small crossover at its plant in the Mexican state of Puebla in 2020 and sales will start by the end of 2021, VW of Mexico CEO Steffen Reiche said on Wednesday.
The vehicle, discussed with U.S. dealers at the NADA convention in January and confirmed by Volkswagen Canada on Thursday, is expected to be slotted below the Tiguan crossover.
VW Canada spokesman Thomas Tetzlaff said in an email to Automotive News Canada that Tarek “is just an internal working name only” in Canada. Scott Keogh, CEO of Volkswagen of America, told Automotive News this year that the subcompact crossover would have a different name in the U.S. market.
On Wednesday, VW marked the end of Beetle production at the Puebla plant.
“We (along with our friends to the south) will be getting a new, smaller-than-Tiguan SUV in 2021 out of Puebla,” Tetzlaff wrote.
Volkswagen of America said in September 2018 it planned to end output of the Beetle, closing another chapter for one of the auto industry's most storied nameplates. Demand for the venerable Beetle, like other cars, has been declining as more Canadians and Americans embrace light trucks, notably crossovers.
VW Group has also been pulling the Beetle from select global markets as part of a broader effort to streamline its bloated product lineup.