While Volkswagen’s medium SUV has only just gone on sale in dealerships around New Zealand, the Tiguan has already had an unprecedented number of pre-orders.
Priced from $41,990, the second-generation Tiguan has had a major design overhaul both with the exterior, interior and technology-wise.
While the SUV segment is New Zealand’s largest growing, accounting for 37 per cent of new vehicle registrations, VW NZ’s general manager, Tom Ruddenklau, took a distinctive approach to the launch of Tiguan.
While Volkswagen worldwide has been hit by the emissions cheat scandal, Ruddenklau said his “customer base is very loyal and have told us they are very loyal”.
So he contacted the VW factory and had a Tiguan especially sent to New Zealand for a customer-only tour of the country, weeks ahead of the official on-sale date.
The Tiguan went to VW’s 16 dealerships around New Zealand, even heading to Invercargill where the new car yard hasn’t yet been built.
The strategy paid off for Ruddenklau with “presales for the Tiguan a big success”.
“It’s the best we’ve ever had, with hundreds of pre-sales,” he told Driven.
While the Comfortline and Highline are now available in dealerships, the sporty R-Line won’t be on sale until January 2017.
So far VW NZ has had 260 pre-orders of the Tiguan, with 250 for the R-Line. Rukkenklau expects sales of 1500 for the Tiguan for 2017.
The all-new Tiguan’s length has increased by 6cm over the first generation SUV, is 3cm wider and has had an increase in boot space of 615l over the previous 470l.
The SUV has a new 2-litre petrol engine, producing 132Kw of power and 320Nm of torque.
VW’s four-wheel-drive system, 4Motion, is also available in in the Highline and R-Line models, giving it the ability to drive on snow and on tough off-road conditions.
It also has an impressive 2.5tonne towing capacity, the best in its class.
The Tiguan’s introduction is the start of an important phase for VW NZ, with numerous launches in the next 24 months. The company will have the seven-seater Tiguan available late next year, along with the compact T-Roc SUV, the all-new Touareg large SUV, the Crafter van, the CC sedan, an electric Golf followed by the facelift Golf, then the Passat GTe.
* Driven has just tested the Highline 4Motion, with our review in next Wednesday’s NZ Herald.