Volkswagen doesn't normally consider General Motors to be a prime competitor in the US, but it's keeping a keen eye on the company's new midsize pickup models, eager to see how they perform in the market. That's because the German automaker is reevaluating its truck strategy, and it's closely watching the reception of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon to help decide whether to reenter the American pickup market, a segment it hasn't populated since the 1980s.

Back in 2009, Volkswagen introduced its Amarok midsize pickup, and during the run-up to that model, there was some discussion of bringing it to US, the largest pickup market in the world. In the end, VW decided it wasn't a good fit, but that hasn't stopped the Amarok from becoming successful in other markets around the globe.

That success, and renewed interest in the midsize segment, has put the pickup truck discussion back on the table at VW, with North American CEO Michael Horn telling Autoblog, "It's a question mark, but it starts to be discussed. Let's put it this way: we start to discuss it again and whether it's attractive for us." But those talks may not be about the current truck – "The Amarok is too small for the US," says Horn. Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, head of VW Group powertrain development, echoed his colleague's sentiment at the same Geneva Motor Show roundtable, saying "We are just reworking our truck strategy, and this is part of thinking about it. But the Amarok fits not very well to the efforts of the market."

It's not immediately clear if this means that VW will consider resizing its next-generation Amarok to fit US tastes, or if it is pondering developing a different model altogether. In either case, it's obvious that VW's load-lugging musings remain theoretical and a point of research – it doesn't sound like anything has been given the green light.


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  • 114 Comments
      John
      • 9 Months Ago
      VW just has no idea what they are doing in the US market, do they? Constantly reacting to what others are doing, rather than leading.
      Mike Cornell
      • 9 Months Ago
      Too small...are you kidding? It's perfect. Diesel & competitive price, please.
        Chris O.
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Mike Cornell
        +1. I'd love to see the Amarok here. Maybe VW will change their minds if the new Colorado is a success. And yes, I'm aware that the Colorado is considerably larger than the Amarok, but it would be a good test case to see if a non-full-size truck can get significant traction in the current market.
        Thomas
        • 1 Month Ago
        @Mike Cornell

        Every car I own is diesel (TDI and Mercedes) and I am SOO tired of the VW USA strategic decisions. I am from Germany I know what models they have and the best stuff we dont even get here (which aplies for AUDI as well) man would I like to have a talk with that CEO ! ! ! !

        Another stupid move (Mercedes ML) made in USA, but offers offroad package with 2speed transfer case onle outside of the US. Is there any common sense left???

      cpmanx
      • 9 Months Ago
      Nissan is doing far better than VW in the US market and it can't make even a tiny dent in the pickup segment. I like the idea of more choices, and I like the idea of a well-engineered mid-size VW pickup, but bringing this to the US would be a mistake while the company is still missing out on some of the biggest mainstream segments. I'd much rather see the next-gen Scirocco, a new CC, the Polo, and production version of the T-Roc.
        Thomas
        • 1 Month Ago
        @cpmanx

        Could not agree more !!!

        JaredN
        • 9 Months Ago
        @cpmanx
        Nissan can't make a dent in the pickup segment because they haven't put the resources into it. The Titan was a lousy pickup to begin with and Nissan has let it rot with few upgrades. The Frontier is even more ancient than the Titan. The small/midsize pickup market is currently small because no one sells a good one. The current Toyota Tacoma is over 10 years old. In the mean time, the Ford F150 has been updated twice.
      car-a-holic
      • 9 Months Ago
      Better hurry up jeep truck or you'll be jonny come lately.....
      ChrisH
      • 9 Months Ago
      If it comes here it must be with the diesel engine. That is VW's uniqueness and it never fails to amaze me the Tiguan never offered it, let alone the CC. I have read that the mid size pickup market is sub 200k and that is why Ford and Ram are not there, yet I have to wonder, is it only 200k because lack of credible offerings? the local Ford dealer seems to ask my dad for his Ranger pickup each time he goes in for service, apparently they are very sure it will resell just fine
        atc98092
        • 9 Months Ago
        @ChrisH
        The problem for a TDI Tiguan is there's no place to put a urea tank, and it would require one. They could always change to run-flat tires and put the tank where the spare is, but that's the biggest complaint I hear about BMW (the tires). There was hope the next Tig refresh would have a TDI, but now with the talk of building the CrossBlue here I doubt the Tig is long for the US market. A shame, really. I like mine a lot, but a diesel would make it almost perfect.
      Vwfanatic
      • 9 Months Ago
      ""The Amarok is too small for the US," says Horn. Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neu├čer, head of VW Group power train development". It is exactly this closed loop logic that has crippled VWoA's ability to grow market share here in the USA. The good doctor is guilty of generalizations based on having his head firmly planted up in his lower intestines!
      JaredN
      • 9 Months Ago
      Dear VW braintrust: Before bringing a pickup to the US, I suggest that instead you start selling new models in the US at the same time you release them in Europe. Your continual 12 to 18 month delay in introduction of US models doesn't help your cause.
        Robert Ryan
        • 9 Months Ago
        @JaredN
        ."Full Size Trucks" has a very different connotation outside NA. They refer to MDT's or vastly heavier Trucks. US Pickups do not work outside NA. in Europe specifically,they are too cumbersome for their roads and too limited for heavier work. VW is more concerned wiooth their Light Commercial and heavier Truck(Scania and MAN)
      reattadudes
      • 9 Months Ago
      I live near the VW proving grounds in Arizona, and these things are running around EVERYWHERE.
      sinistro79
      • 9 Months Ago
      I think VW should bring their entire commercial division of vehicles to the USA. This includes the Amarok, Transporter, and Caddy.
        The Wasp
        • 9 Months Ago
        @sinistro79
        They talk about wanting to be #1 and completely ignore US truck and commercial buyers...talk is cheap, I guess.
        Rr778
        • 9 Months Ago
        @sinistro79
        Scirocco or however it's spelled
      BahamaTodd
      • 9 Months Ago
      Expand the Chattanooga plant with a platform to handle both an SUV and truck.
      flammablewater
      • 9 Months Ago
      Truck you! Bring us the Scirocco and the GTD!
        flammablewater
        • 9 Months Ago
        @flammablewater
        Also GTE.
        Thomas
        • 1 Month Ago
        @flammablewater

        No kidding. Like I said before. I am from Germany and know the models available (or go to VW.de) it is a pure shame that we get only the "old news" over here. Well at least we got the TDI (and it is made in Leipzig) even though almost all their production is sucked up by Europe. Not sure how I would feel if they made the engine here. I just have only faith when it comes from there (solid as a wood stove)

      Skip Henderson
      • 9 Months Ago
      diesel would do it.
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