Scheduled for launch at the end of the decade, the T-Roc cabrio is to be built at the Osnabrück plant - formerly the home of coachbuilder Karmann, which produced the Golf Cabriolet and original drop-top Beetle. Currently, the facility oversees part-production of Porsche's Cayenne and Cayman, the Skoda Fabia and VW's Tiguan, the latter of which is finished in Wolfsburg.
At its peak, around 20,000 T-Roc convertibles will be made per year, representing an investment of around £70 million in Osnabrück targeting logistics and modernising of production and assembly technology.
More than 40,000 T-Roc orders have been placed since its launch late last year, although convertibles tend to be slower-selling for VW; 613 Beetle Cabriolets were sold in the UK in 2017.
SUVs are increasingly important for VW – the brand plans to launch 20 before 2020, by which time SUVs will represent around 40% of VW’s total sales.
It’s part of a new, more emotional strategy at the company as the brand introduces cars that steer away from its traditionally rational approach. The dramatically styled Arteon was the first example of this strategy. The T-Roc cabrio will be the brand’s first drop-top SUV.
VW brand boss Herbert Diess said: "Volkswagen is evolving into an SUV brand. The T-Roc is already setting new standards in the compact SUV segment. With the cabriolet based on the T-Roc, we will be adding a highly emotional model to the range.”
A T-Roc R model has previously been reported, but VW remains tight-lipped about whether the model will make it to production, despite a growing sports SUV market with new entries announced regularly.