Volkswagen of America Inc. is planning to carve out a bigger slice of the mid-size car market, says Ken Moriarity, vice president-marketing.

Mr. Moriarity says new models for the mid-size and large car segments will give VWA the ability to challenge American Honda Motor Co. Inc. and Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. for sales leadership in the mid-size segment. “My feeling is that Volkswagen can eventually take market share away from Honda and Toyota,” Mr. Moriarity says.

He points out that Audi already is enjoying conquest sales from previous Japanese car owners. “(Japanese cars) lack edge and excitement,” he says. The Audi A4 began to persuade owners of Japanese cars to switch to German products.

Meanwhile, VW says it has scrapped plans to build the CJ Coupe that debuted as a concept at the 1997 Detroit auto show. VW says the car helped gauge public reaction to what was going to be the face of the new Jetta, which does have some Coupe characteristics. Does that mean the end of a coupe in VW's lineup? VW officials say “Never say never.”