VW Tarek to take Beetle's spot in Puebla

The compact SUV will go on sale in 2021.

With the Beetle now officially out of production, Volkswagen has confirmed that a version of the Tarek small SUV will be built in the Bug's place at the company's Puebla, Mexico vehicle plant.

Steffen Reiche, head of VW's Mexico operations, made the announcement at an event commemorating the last Beetle off the Puebla assembly line. Reiche said the former Beetle plant will begin production of the Tarek next year, with sales slated to begin in 2021.

Scott Keogh, CEO of Volkswagen of America, confirmed to Automotive News that the Tarek will be sold in the United States, albeit under a different name. Keogh didn't disclose what the sub-Tiguan model would be called in the U.S. market.

The Tarek is currently sold in China as the Tharu. At 175-inches in length, the Tharu is about 10-inches shorter than the Tiguan. The compact SUV is available with a few different four-cylinder engines that all mate to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Although the North American Tarek will be largely based on the Chinese-market Tharu, the model destined for these shores will be modified for increased durability. "We'll adapt the Chinese model for this market,” Reiche said. "Our version will be the stronger one, the rougher one compared to the Chinese one.”

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