Full-size pickups continue to rule the sales roost in North America, and there frankly hasn't been much action in the small and midsize segment to generate new interest. Ford finally put its Ranger out to pasture, the Ram Dakota is gone and a Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon replacement has a ways to go before it hits the market. The category's remaining imports – Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier and Honda Ridgeline – aren't exactly fresh, and the long-promised Mahindra model hasn't exactly worked out. But surely there still has to be a market for a smaller, fully modern pickup, right?

"Bottom line? We are very interested, but are proceeding very slowly and very cautiously."

Apparently Volkswagen thinks there might be. Autoblog has learned that VW is seriously investigating selling its handsome Amarok pickup in Canada. According to Thomas Tetzlaff, Media Relations Manager at VW of Canada, the German automaker is "presently in the 'evaluation stage,' where we are pouring over data with a fine-toothed comb. Bottom line? We are very interested, but are proceeding very slowly and very cautiously."

Thanks to a number of tipsters, Autoblog has discovered that VWoC is actively discussing the Amarok with its dealer body, which in turn has been gauging customer interest in the truck. Tetzlaff confirms: "Yes, we have had discussions with our dealers and they have given us some very positive feedback. The challenge is to justify the project 'on our own'." Past history suggests that VW's Canadian arm is up to the challenge – as recently as 2009, VWoC offered the Golf and Jetta City models without an equivalent U.S. model.

This suggests that VW is considering importing a TDI diesel model.

Tetzlaff would not confirm which cab styles and powertrain options are under consideration, but he did say, "The powertrain solution would certainly give Canadian buyers a real alternative in the light pickup market." This suggests that VW is considering importing a TDI diesel model. At present, VW builds the Amarok with one of three diesel powertrains in Argentina, offering 138-177 horsepower and 250-310 pound-feet of torque. The Amarok is assembled in both single and double-cab configurations with either rear- or four-wheel drive and is sold in South America, Europe, Russia, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

While sounding optimistic about the Amarok's chances, Tetzlaff cautioned, "Our desire to bring such a product to market needs to be balanced with a strong business case. The costs we would need to incur in order to import the vehicle need to be factored into the equation and they are not insubstantial... the project is nowhere near a 'green light' just yet."

And what about here in the States? VW spokesman Mark Gillies: "VW of America has absolutely no plans to sell the current version of the Amarok in the U.S."


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  • 102 Comments
      Mallthus
      • 2 Years Ago
      USA! USA! USA! No, seriously. I want one now. I've been watching the New Zealand tv show "The Almighty Johnsons" and one the characters drives a crew cab 4x4 Amarok. It's so nice, that my WIFE suggested it was nice and asked if we could get those here.
      CarCrazy24
      • 2 Years Ago
      VW should seriously reconsider....the compact/midsize truck class has been lackluster at best. A fresh truck like this with a small diesel powertrain is EXACTLY what I and a huge number of truck enthusiasts need rather than the large/overpriced half ton/one ton trucks. The Tacoma/Frontier/Ridgeline are outdated and the Colorado is simply pathetic. Bring this here wtih a TDI, it would be an excellent addition to the VW line-up. For now I'll keep dreaming about a 35-40mpg small truck.
        Snark
        • 2 Years Ago
        @CarCrazy24
        Or you could just buy a cheap used pickup for when you need a truck, and buy a small hybrid or diesel car for the 90% of the time you don't need a utility vehicle. Why bother with a jack of all trades and master of none when you can get a 50mpg commuter and a capable utility vehicle, insure them both, and spend less money to purchase and to run? I find that most of the people who, volubly, dream of a "30-40mpg small truck" are not serious truck buyers, they're car drivers who just sort of like the idea of one car that could theoretically do it all. If you actually needed a truck, you'd already own one as a second vehicle, or you'd have made your peace with fuel costs and bought one as your second vehicle.
          The Wasp
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Snark
          Sadly there are precious few 50mpg cars. The cheapest new one is Prius C at $19k. Unfortunately it's news, so you can't buy a used one for cheaper. You're probably thinking of a used diesel Jetta, whether that's really in the 50mpg club or not. In any case, I think the math doesn't agree that buying a used truck ($500-20,000, depending on what you have in mind) in addition to an efficient car ($19,000) would be cheaper than buying a compact truck -- the current example Amarok presumed to start around $22,000.
          Snark
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Snark
          The Amarok would not start anywhere close to $22k unless it was with a gasser engine, which promptly defeats the entire point.. It would be over $30k, since they (and everybody else with a diesel car) makes the diesel a very optioned-out midlevel model in the lineup (see Jetta and Touareg pricing.) ' Oh, and $30k assumes US assembly, and doesn't assume that the 25% chicken tax applies.
      ishmaelcrowley
      • 2 Years Ago
      Someone explain to me why there is "free trade" for virtually every product except pick up trucks?
        Kumar
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ishmaelcrowley
        I imagine the reason is similar to why we haven't seen an increase in federal gas tax to a level that will actually cover road maintenance.....your average spineless politician doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings and endanger their reelection chances.
      Andres Salazar Tello
      • 2 Years Ago
      It is also sold in Mexico, the only North American market where Volkswagen sells it!
      mr.vw
      • 2 Years Ago
      YES VW bring the TDI with the whole commercial division, VW should start offering all the european models and features. stop spoon feeding us the table scraps for cars/options - VW needs more models desperately!! the core models are weak examples of german cars as VW continues to suck the german out of our cars like the new jetta & passat. I hope VW starts building to european fit and finish again. The hard plastics are disgusting!!!
        mr.vw
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mr.vw
        It's looking like VW USA doesn't want the amarok and vw germany is going to clip the wings before it could fly. A typical VOA move.
      whofan
      • 2 Years Ago
      If Volkswagon brought this to the States with a Diesel, they couldn`t build them fast enough. That is if it wasn`t priced through the roof.
        Snark
        • 2 Years Ago
        @whofan
        And of course it would be. Come on, think this through. A Tacoma crosses $30k with 4WD, crew cab, and a few options, and hits $40k with very little difficulty at all. Now add $2000 for the diesel. Still worth it to you? Right.
      GTO
      • 2 Years Ago
      Bring it! It will do really well here. I own a 2012 golf tdi and I love the efficiency and torqiness of the engine. Diesel right now is cheaper than regular petrol (at least in TO)...
      e46mike
      • 2 Years Ago
      The first company that brings out a compact or half ton diesel pickup is going to clean up...
        Snark
        • 2 Years Ago
        @e46mike
        Doubt it. Selling trucks to car nerds who don't buy trucks is not exactly a winning business proposition. And actual truck people don't particularly want a slow, overspecified ROW-market diesel pickup when an F-150 that costs the same is just as capable, can be fixed cheaply in any small town in the US, and has a proven track record.
      George
      • 1 Year Ago
      Even with the new RAM 1500 diesel, the Amarok should be an interesting option in Canada. The RAM with the 3.0 V6 should have considerably higher consumption vs the 2.0 I4 and will require more space in garage and around town. On the other hand, the Amarok's +1,000 kg payload and 3,200 kg conventional towing is still respectable. If Ford sells around 100,000 F-series pickups and RAM around 70,000 per year, VW could sell at least 5,000-10,000 Amarok's even at premium prices. It will be important for VW to have some presence in the pickup segment, if they are serious about being the #1 manufacturer in 2018.
      Greg Drozd
      • 2 Years Ago
      looks like we're going to have to import Amarok from Canada :)
      Rob Bone
      • 2 Years Ago
      If the towing capacity can tow a small open wheel trailer for a GTI prepped for SCCA T3, I would get one. If it gets great MPG with the TDI so that I can drive it daily, I would get one. If came in a crew cab, I would get one. If it came to the U.S.A., I WOULD GET ONE. STOP TEASING US WITH ALL THE MODELS WE CANNOT GET!
        Snark
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rob Bone
        If you don't already own a truck of some description - a beater parked next to the garage, even - I don't believe you need a truck enough to actually pony up $30k plus real dollars and buy yourself a real truck. Sorry. People who need trucks own trucks. If you just love the idea of one vehicle that can do it all, I don't think you'll put your money where your mouth is. And daily driving a truck is stupid, anyway. I'd no more daily drive my truck than I would try to haul lumber in my Focus.
      wsbfan
      • 2 Years Ago
      VW, we are up to our eyeballs in pickups here in Canada. We want the Transporter Van.
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