Daily News Briefs: May 31, 2012

By Kelsey Mays  on May 31, 2012

Volkswagen of America CEO Jonathan Browning told reporters Wednesday that the automaker would add a midsize SUV positioned between the Tiguan and Touareg, according to Bloomberg News. Browning declined to elaborate on a timetable for introduction, but there's clearly room for one: The smallish Tiguan measures more than a foot shorter than the well-equipped Touareg, and it starts a whopping $20,535 less than its larger sibling. Volkswagen has no three-row sub-$30,000 SUV to compete with the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer and Chevrolet Traverse. New entries from Nissan and Hyundai — plus rumblings of a possible Chrysler-badged entry — could push the German automaker to get on board. We'll let you know as we learn more.
In other news:

  • After cutting incentives some $300 per vehicle in April, Ford says it raised discounts to industry-average rates in May, Bloomberg News reports.
  • A new study from ALG says Ford and Hyundai posted large gains in perceived quality, but Honda, Toyota and Subaru still top the list. The study's bottom feeder — no surprise — is Smart.
  • Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News expect Toyota to post the highest gains of any major automaker with nearly double the sales of a tsunami-restricted May 2011. The industry reports sales on Friday.

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Senior Consumer Affairs Editor Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price.  Email Kelsey