Volkswagen to Introduce Upgraded Tarek SUV to North American Market

We can now confirm that a modified version of the Chinese Tharu will be coming to the US in 2021.

At a presentation to honor the Beetle, Steffan Reiche, CEO of Volkswagen de Mexico, confirmed that the vehicle, known internally as the Tarek, will enter production in 2020 and hit dealerships early the following year.

Reiche added, though, that Tarek was not necessarily the name it will be sold as.

“We’re looking for names. Names are really difficult,” said Reiche. “It has to be good in Mexico and the US.”

As reported in May, the vehicle will be a mildly modified version of the Tharu, a small SUV currently for sale in China. At about 175-inches long, the Tarek will be 10 inches shorter than the US market Tiguan and about an inch shorter than the European version.

The Tarek will not look exactly like the Tharu, though.

“The shape will be localized,” said Reiche. “The Chinese version versus ours, ours is more muscular, tough, and SUV-ish. It’s definitely different from Chinese market version.”

While the Tarek is intended for the North American market, it will be shared with other markets, like the Atlas. Just which markets Reiche would not divulge. The presentation slide from May, though, suggested that it is under consideration for Russia, Argentina, and Brazil.

The small SUV will be essential for Volkswagen de Mexico, whose Beetle line just shut down. It will also likely be a boon for VW dealers. With the SUV market heating up and production of the Tiguan Limited ending, Volkswagen is currently missing a small SUV.