Volkswagen Group’s CEO Herbert Diess has been quite active lately online, especially on his LinkedIn account. This week, he chose a different platform to get in touch with fans of the German automotive conglomerate. The 63-year-old executive took to Reddit to organize an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session where participants posted an impressive number of inquiries.
One of the burning questions was about Skoda and whether the VW Group has plans to bring the Czech brand to the United States. Sadly, Diess says it's currently not on the agenda because the automaker based in Mladá Boleslav has bigger fish to fry: "For the moment, I don't think that Skoda will come to the US. Currently, we have no plans. Skoda just has taken over group responsibility for India, Russia...and is entering new segments, capacities in manufacturing and R&D are fully booked."
Gallery: 2021 Skoda Octavia RS
Skoda is leading the development of the MQB-A0 platform that will underpin affordable models in target markets like India, Russia, Africa, Latin America, and ASEAN countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The MQB-A0 IN architecture catering to India has already served as the foundation for two compact vehicles – the Kushaq crossover and the Rapid-replacing Slavia sedan.
Another question VW Group fans asked Diess was about the possibility of ever seeing TDI engines in the US again following the costly Dieselgate fiasco. His answer was pretty clear: "Definitely not. Microbus is coming!" The head honcho was, of course, referring to the much-hyped ID. Buzz, which will celebrate its world premiere on March 9. Two days later, it will receive its public debut at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival.
However, the electric van won't go on sale in the US until 2023, and only as a passenger variant. Over in Europe, where the Buzz goes on sale later this year, there's also going to be a cargo model due to be unveiled together with the people mover. Come 2025, a California-badged camper will follow.
On a related note, VW Group's top brass mentioned an electric pickup truck for the US market is a "good idea!" That’s not all too surprising considering the company did show the Atlas Tanoak nearly four years ago. It was a midsize pickup, albeit based on the MEB platform with a 3.6-liter V6 making 276 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque like its SUV equivalent.
As for the ID.3 Cabriolet teased last year, Diess said the company is "working on a new idea." However, we wouldn't get our hopes up too high since we're certain other EVs have priority. One of them was confirmed by the CEO himself when asked whether the ID. Space Vizzion is still happening: "Yes, it’s coming."
It should come in both sedan and wagon body styles as an alternative to a sea of SUVs. In fact, the sedan (or is it a liftback?) was spotted testing at the beginning of the year.