FRANKFURT - Development of Volkswagen's Golf-based compact minivan is lagging behind schedule.
The car will be launched at the end of 2002, more than two years later than once planned.
In May 1999, Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen board member for product development, said the vehicle would need about 12 more months before it was ready for launch. Originally the small van was planned to have five seats. But that was changed after General Motors' Zafira was launched with seven seats in 1998.
'The Golf compact minivan will have to offer seven seats,' Winterkorn said last year. 'Opel has provided a very interesting solution with the Zafira compact minivan and its clever foldaway seats. This is something we cannot ignore.'
But the Golf minivan will need additional development time, according to company insiders.
'The Golf compact van project was just recently finalized and decided,' said a VW source close to the management board. 'So it is obvious that it will take some more time until the car is developed and prepared for series production.'