- Mar 5, 2014
Volkswagen says US pickup is back on the table
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.
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.
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.