By on March 6, 2014

2013-Volkswagen-Amarok-Canyon-07

The Amarok may not be coming to the United States, but depending on the success of the General Motors’ twin midsize pickups, Volkswagen may re-enter the light-duty truck market with a product more suited to a U.S. audience.

Autoblog reports VW is mulling over the idea of bringing a truck to the U.S. market, though it may not be the Amarok popular around the world, according to VW Group head of powertrain development Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer:

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.

Speculation around the VW U.S. pickup include a revised Amarok or a separate U.S.-only model.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

78 Comments on “VW Considering Larger Pickup For U.S. Market...”


  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    Bring back the Caddy. VW still makes it. Just expand production from Brazil to Mexico to get around the Chicken tax. That is the one in I see VW having in the US pickup market.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      Then when it fails in the marketplace VW will never bring a pickup to the US again. VW is not strong or brave enough in America to be the first to a new segment (or the reintroduction of a segment) in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @racer-esq,
      Yes VW Does want to expand its light Commercial Vehicles offerings in the US. Like Hyundai/ Kia they have absolutely no intention of getting into the NA Pickup market. All those “Truck Guys” can sleep easily now.
      They on the other hand do want to expand their market share though.

  • avatar
    GoFaster58

    Good grief! Another big pickup is not what we need. We need pickups the size of the old Ford Ranger. Why doesn’t the industry listen to us?

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    If the Colorado is successful, it’ll hog most of the market for itself, with scraps left for the other OEMs. If a VW truck lures VW loyalists to that side of the showroom, the truck will cannibalize profitable VWs, especially VW SUVs.

    It’s a lose/lose for other OEMs. Probably for GM too.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      What profitable SUVs does VW have in the US? Do they make money on the Tiguan or Touareg?

    • 0 avatar
      VCplayer

      What’s the Colorado going to be successful at? Stealing Tacoma sales? I hope it succeeds, but the mid-size pickup segment has been dying for over a decade now. The fact that Ford practically owned the segment and then gave up on it should say something about the potential for profit in it.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Excluding anomalies such as ecoboost, toyota DOHC(at least early versions) and Nissans entire truck; trucks tend to be the most reliable segment in the market.
    So why I ask does Volkswagen think the market needs a highly unreliable fullsize, are the 3 anomalies above too reliable?
    I doubt Volkswagen could build a proper competitive OHV, would probably get lazy and drop a DOHC.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Yeah, that’s just what we need- a VW pickup.

    Let’s take a gander at who would buy such a thing…

    Contractors? Hmm. No, methinks the Union would have a big problem with that. Non-union contractors? Their income’s likely a touch too small for such a feat, seeing as this thing would probably start in the high 30′s for base models (just throwing that # out there, BTW).

    Yuppies? Umm. Since when do young professionals buy foreign pick up trucks- with the exception of the Tundra? Bible-belt yuppies typically buy Silverado or F-Series hands down.

    Rural/agricultural families? VW??? No way in hell. Not on their land. Wealthy farmer’s daughters, maybe.

    Hunters/outdoorsman/adventurists? Ha. I can see slain tagged deer laying in the bed of this thing already. Yeah. Sure.

    But from the styling of the thing, I do see it pulling dirt bikes. Or pulling jet skis. But… how many of those guys will be trading in their F-Series and Silverados for this? But the fender extensions make it look pretty tough, so it is appealing in that sense.

    To do any good over here, its going to come down to drivetrain configuration and towing capacity, which I don’t know the numbers there. What engine does this thing have?

    VW already has a certain “reputation” when it comes to reliability, especially to the loyal pick-up driving crowd. I don’t see any of them making a bee line to the VW dealership any time soon.

    Hopefully they will be realistic with the sales figures of this thing before- rather, if- they decide to give that truck a gander stateside.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      There is a growing market of people who consider the current full-size offerings too big and getting bigger with each successive generation, yet they continue to buy the full-size trucks because they still want/need the utility and a truck is still a better alternative to a car and a trailer.

      Someone is going to figure this out and we’re going to have our “1959 moment”. GM is dipping their toes back into the mid-size market with the Colorado, but they and the other full-size makers don’t have much incentive to do so because their fortunes are tied to these bloated full-size trucks.

      A manufacturer with 1) no full-size truck to worry about and 2) not much to lose in terms of market share could have this small but growing market to itself.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s a compelling sociological analysis, but all those groups have outliers. After all, Tundra and Tacoma exist. If VW can persuade and deliver on reliability, it may yet work. I am not raising my hopes, because it’s not modern VW’s forte, but a possibility may be out there.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    Just bring the damn Amarok already!

    What is VW going to do, create a U.S. only full-size truck to compete against the full-size trucks from Ford, GM and Ram? That would be a bigger miscalculation than the current Passat. Toyota and Nissan are already doing that and finding it tough sledding.

    VW has the right truck right now, and they don’t have anything in their current lineup that it will take sales from.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      It can’t be sold here at a profit. Americans won’t pay enough to justify the effort.

      If Americans want more choice, then they need to back it up with a willingness to pay for it. But we know that isn’t going to happen.

      • 0 avatar
        Jimal

        Build it in Mexico, or build it in Chattanooga. That would take care of the price point to a certain extent.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          No, that won’t help.

          For the sake of comparison, in Germany, a quad-cab 2WD Amarok with the most powerful motor (a 177 hp 2.0 liter diesel) has a base sticker price of about $35k (not including the 19% VAT.)

          A Nissan in the US with a more powerful V6 gas motor starts in the mid-20s.

          VW would need to give us our own motor — the diesel won’t do — plus cut the price by $10k or more. If the choice is between selling a vehicle for $35k or $25k, it’s pretty obvious which choice that they will make.

          The law of supply: The more that customers are willing to pay, the more supply that there will be. But it cuts both ways — those who pay less will have fewer options.

          • 0 avatar
            Jimal

            I don’t agree on the price argument. Smaller size doesn’t have to equal a smaller price tag.

          • 0 avatar
            tedward

            Pch.
            Not that I disagree with the rest of your post but the diesel will certainly do, and VW already has a V-6 in the US market that they can use. It’s even hooked up to a torque converter already.

            What they might not have is an AWD system up to US market tow capacities (the Touareg uses Audi gear which is expensive and longitudinal.) I say this not knowing that much about he Amorak though, it may be that the running gear exists on that truck already. Anyone from Central or South America want to comment?

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            You are correct Jimal, but there has to be value. Very few people are going to pay more just because its a VW (the Amarok by no means has a luxury car interior for example)- they will just go for the similar but cheaper Japanese options (+ soon the Colorado) or go for the similar priced but more capable American full size.

            tedward:
            That is assuming the V6 can easily or cheaply fit into the Amarok- all of its engines are I4s.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            pch, you can’t directly compare prices in different markets – taxes and other local market factors make this impossible.

            The base Tiguan, for example, lists at $23,305 in the US. In the UK (with a smaller engine), it starts at around $36,000.

            The Amarok starts at nearly $35,000 in the UK, which suggests a US price might be in the range of $22,000. This would put it well below the $25,000 you think would make it attractive.

          • 0 avatar
            Jimal

            @whynot, I don’t buy the bigger=more capable argument, when the vast majority of truck buyers barely ever tap into the capabilities of a large truck, or any vehicle for that matter. If the Frontier and Tacoma were updated, you might have a point about the other, cheaper options.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Tedward
            What Pch101 negates to tell you is that the 2 litre diesel Amarok has much more torque than the Nissan and is getting far, far superior FE, 31 mpg US average, Highway about 35mpg US.

            He also negates to tell you that the Amarok is a far better package than the Frontier.

            Comparing an Amarok to a Frontier is like comparing a Wrangler to a Grand Cherokee, it’s a chalk and cheese comparison.

            The guy hasn’t a clue about what he’s discussing.

            As for the price of the Amarok it’s in the same ball park as a global Ranger or Toyota Hilux. This would put it into Taco territory, but it’s a vehicle 2 generations in front of the Taco.

            Like I stated he only know very little about a small area of the US market.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “you can’t directly compare prices in different markets”

            Well, if you operate the business in question, you have no choice but to compare them.

            Let’s say that a company manufactures one widget. There are two customers for the one widget, one who will pay $1, and another who will pay $0.60. It should be obvious which one of these gets to buy the widget.

            VW doesn’t make enough widgets to serve the entirety of the world. Selling to the US would require adding production capacity. With the prices that Americans pay, that is not a profitable opportunity. The prices are too low to produce margin, and the volume is too low to make up for the lack of margin.

            It makes sense for Toyota, but no sense whatsoever for VW. In the US, VW is a brand for yuppies-in-training who couldn’t afford a BMW, not the sort of badge that is going to move trucks. VW is having enough trouble selling what it already has; the crossover market offers more potential.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            pch, you seem to be a smart guy, for the most part. But there are times when you descend into absurdity to defend error, which is not at all becoming.

            “you can’t directly compare prices in different markets”

            I said this because it’s true. Your supposed rebuttal is utter nonsense.

            You argue that the Amarok can’t be successful in the US, because it sells in Germany for $35,000, and therefore can’t compete in the US against a Nissan that sells in the US for $25,000.

            But the fact is, as I documented, that cars that sell in Germany for $35,000 don’t sell at that price in the US. Anyone who knows anything about the car market understands that pricing varies enormously by market, depending on taxes and other market factors.

            As I pointed out in my post, the Tiguan starts in the UK at US$36,000, and in the US at around $23,000. The Amarok also starts at around US$35,000 in the UK. So, that $35,000-in-Germany Amarok would likely be around $22,000 in the US, and therefore quite competitive with the $25,000 Nissan. How hard is that to grasp?

            This isn’t rocket science. Anyone who knows anything about international business knows that prices of a given product vary enormously by country. So, that $35,000 in Germany may seem expensive compared to American prices, but Danes, Singaporeans and New Zealanders would call it a bargain.

            In my business career, spent for the most part well above your level, I’ve noticed that the 2 hardest things for people to say are “I was wrong” and “I don’t know”. You carry this to extremes.

            You would do well, when you make a mistake, to simply fess up to it, learn something and move on, instead of constructing some piece of absurdity to try and justify your error.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            That was a rather longwinded way for you to say that you really have no clue that there is a substantial difference between $0.60 and $1.00, and that there are circumstances when the $0.60 customer is best avoided because he isn’t profitable.

            Americans won’t pay as much for vehicles, and that impacts what Americans are offered. This should not be a difficult concept to grasp, and I would be rather concerned about the financial acumen of one who cannot grasp something so basic as that.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            Let’s start at the beginning. You assumed that the Amarok would sell in the US for around $35,000, because that’s what goes for in Germany, and used that to say it could not be competitive in the US.

            Your going-in assumption is wrong, so your conclusion is invalid.

            And now, you try to deny your mistake with a bunch of claptrap about widgets.

            The fact is car prices, as I said, vary considerably from country to country, because local taxes and other costs vary tremendously. Everyone involved in the industry knows this.

            The Tiguan is a good example. Starting prices for this vehicle, in USD, are around:

            $22,000 in Canada
            $23,000 in the US
            $36,000 in the UK
            $43,000 in Germany
            $71,000 in Denmark
            $143,000 in Singapore

            for basically the same vehicle. I’m prepared to accept that is probably profitable for VW in all of those markets.

            So, the available data suggests that the Amarok that goes from $35,000 in Germany would probably be priced in the low 20′s in the US.

            Would it be successful in the US? I haven’t the foggiest idea.

            The point is simply that you used an incorrect assumption to base your conclusion on. If you truly understood the industry, you’d have known it was wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “You assumed that the Amarok would sell in the US for around $35,000, because that’s what goes for in Germany”

            It would be just awesome if you’d actually understand the point being made. If I may quote myself:

            “VW would need to give us our own motor — the diesel won’t do — plus cut the price by $10k or more. If the choice is between selling a vehicle for $35k or $25k, it’s pretty obvious which choice that they will make.”

            I have made it abundantly clear that Americans won’t pay European prices for German pickup trucks.

            VW’s dilemma is that Americans not only pay lower prices, but they won’t buy very many of these things.

            VW needs to get either margin or volume. As it turns out, VW can command some margin in Europe, but it can’t get either volume or margin in the US. Ergo, no compelling reason to offer said vehicle in the US; it’s better to sell to the Europeans, who will pay more.

            If VW thought that it had a shot in the US market, then it would have set up shop in Mexico and started building them en masse, preferably with a large V6 gas engine that it doesn’t currently offer in this vehicle. Wisely, they opted not to do that — Toyota would crush them like a bug, and the vehicle would be a loss generator par excellence.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          It would have to be Mexico. They wouldn’t get enough US only volume to make it worth building in Chattanooga. The investment in infastructure would be wasted on the Amarok, when a (competitive) midsized CUV is needed even more. Even then, it is still too expensive.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Smaller size doesn’t have to equal a smaller price tag.”

            I’m sorry, but Americans aren’t going to pay European prices for the dubious privilege of owning a VW pickup in lieu of a Toyota or Nissan. VW would have to compete on price, and that means setting prices that are established by the competition.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            If that was the case there would be no need for a chicken tax. So why is there a chicken tax if imported pickups will cost the same as the Europeans pay??

            You seem to shoot yourself in the foot like you gentic twin DiM.

            So how much is an aluminium full size going to cost?

            I do think you display a very simplistic rural type personality.

            It seems you, just like DiM fear anything outside of the US. Have you ever left the one horse of a town you live in?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            I very much doubt they would pay “European Prices”. as ect noted. VW is interested in getting more a viable business case rather than worry about pricing. Their Commercial Vans are much more important.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Jimal,
          That would certainly work. Problem is acceptance and would it be worth it to build a US only Pickup…Na

          • 0 avatar
            Jimal

            My whole point is that it wouldn’t be worth building a U.S. only pickup. Ford seems to have had some success by finally instituting their “world car” concept. VW should do the same.

            Acceptance is a more elusive thing. That being said, the segment has been ceded to Toyota and Nissan, who are trying to gain market share for their full-size models at the expense of their mid-sizers.

            It’ll be interesting to see what happens with GM and the Colorado/Canyon. The new Silverado/Sierra hasn’t been particularly successful. If the Colorado/Canyon is a hit, then Volkswagen will have missed a golden opportunity to own a revived segment. And with their current track record of misreading their markets, I can’t say I have a lot of faith in VW’s research on this.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            This supposed “revived segment” has been losing volume and market share. I don’t know how you’ve come to believe that there is a “revival”, when the data says the opposite.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Have a read Pch101,

        I can even get a press release from VW that states VW will not be releasing a pickup in the US market until the chicken tax is removed.

        Full size pickups are an artificial bubble market. Why else would you keep a tax in place for 50 years??

        http://www.autoblog.com/2013/12/04/vw-browning-amarok-chicken-tax/

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          VW can, and will state what ever shows itself in the best light. VW has to answer to share holders and consumers wondering why VW holds back so may cars from the American market. Of course it comes down to market strategy. But what’s VW’s answer to the Scirocco? What chicken excuse do they have for that???

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The chicken tax shouldn’t be that big of a hurdle to selling the Amarok in the US. There are ways to get around it, and VW could have built it in Mexico instead of Argentina and Germany. Its all posturing, even if the chicken tax is a legitimate concern. Nissan, Honda, and Toyota all figured out how to sell midsized trucks here. VW can as well.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @bball40dtw
            How? Really, mate.

            The tax is there for a reason.

            How can they get around it without incurring additional costs?

            The idea of the tax wasn’t to gain revenue, but to stop trade.

            Come on, get serious.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            If a VW really thought that the Amarok would be profitable in the US, they could have built it in Mexico or the US. They could also do something like Mercedes does with the Sprinter Vans. They aren’t selling it here because they don’t think it will sell.

            In the linked article, someone from VW even says the Amarok wouldn’t sell well in the US. If VW thought they would sell a bunch of these in the US, they’d be at dealerships already.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @bball40dtw
            VW made a statement to make the Amarok in NAFTA they required a market of 100k per year, or they will not set up shop.

            In that same statement VW highlighted to fact that the chicken tax was THE barrier to importing the Amarok into the US.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            They can only produce 90K a year in Argentina, and have not come close to meeting that. They could have done that in Mexico and shipped them all over South America and even to Europe if they wanted to.

            As it stands now, the chicken tax is the barrier to entry because VW wants it to be. That didn’t stop Mercedes from bringing over the Sprinter. That didn’t stop other manufacturers from getting light trucks into the US in the past. I don’t like the Chicken Tax either, but don’t let your hatred of it become the be all end all excuse for VW not having a pickup in this market.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @bball40dtw
            VW are setting up an Amarok plant near Hamburg in Germany.

            The argument has nothing to do with what is occurring in Argentina. The argument is VW will not setup manufacturing in NAFTA without a 100k Amarok production rate.

            Why would Argentina produce more than what they are currently producing? Who will they sell them too?

            The US? How with the Chicken Tax.

            You see the chicken tax works!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Aren’t they making Amaroks is Hannover? I’m saying that VW could have produced the Amarok in Mexico instead on Argentina if US sales were a priority. Mexico also has more FTAs than any other country.

            PR releases are heavy on spin. The bottom line is if VW thought the Amarok was the right product for the US market, they would have figured out a way to sell it here. I’m not going to argue in circles about midsized trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @bball40dtw – VW had said that they would need to sell 100,000 units a year to make it worth while to build a factory to sell the Amarok for the USA market. The cost of that factory isn’t going to change much regardless of which NAFTA country that factory is placed.

            Big Al has a valid point. If there were no chicken tax the Amarok could be imported on a much smaller scale than 100K and still be profitable.

            Many argue the price sensitivity of small trucks but the cheapskate market is tiny. Toyota has abandoned reg cap trucks, the new Colorado/Canyon will not have reg cabs either.

            I’m sure BenverMike will chime in with his usual “cheapskates are the only buyers” crap but if one looks at Toyota, most trucks sold are mid level or higher trim Tacoma doublecab 4×4′s.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC, BAF0

            “VW said…” “VW said…” “VW said…”…

            Listen to yourselves. It’s as bad as hearing:

            “FOX News said…” “FOX News said…”…

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @bball40dtw
            Yes, but VW stated it isn’t worth their effort to build a factory unless 100k can be sold.

            This is how the chicken tax is effective. A company can’t build a market in a pickup segment from scratch.

            It must have a 100k market to start off with or it isn’t viable.

            I can’t believe how some of you guys don’t believe a 25% tax can affect a market and create anomalies within that market.

            How simple is this to comprehend! It ain’t rocket science.

            Nissan and Toyota already had a market setup. Mazda and Mitsubishi shared platforms.

            At the moment you only have 2 midsizers in your market. They are old and agricultural.

            We have 12 or more manufacturers supplying midsizers.

            These companies can’t setup shop in the US unless they pay a 25% tax on pickups they import.

            Is it worth the risk for those companies to build factories? No.

            But it would be worth the risk to test the waters and import pickups to try and build up market share if the chicken tax didn’t exist.

            This is what the Big 3 don’t want.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Big Al-

            Where did I state that the Chicken Tax was not a trade barrier? It certainly is. I just don’t agree with your premise, “Because VW corporate said X, Y is true.” Yes, without the Chicken Tax, other brands could dip a toe into the US truck waters. More than likely, the existing brands will rip those toes off, but that’s what competition is for.

            However, there is nothing stopping VW from building a Amarok in Mexico, and shipping it to Europe, who has a FTA with Mexico, as well as Oceania, S America, N America, Africa, etc. There is nothing stopping them from going through the process of shipping CKDs to Mexico or the US from Germany or Argentina for the NAFTA markets.

            There are plenty of other market forces at work besides the Chicken Tax that keep midsized trucks out of the US. Your failure to ever accept that they exist or recognize them is your cross to bear.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Jimal
      VW will not manufacture a full size truck. As FTAs become more prevalent I can foresee Amarok imports, or ‘Americanised’ Amaroks, which would be based on the Amarok we have with the small 1 800lb payload.

      The link in this article doesn’t state that VW will make a full size. It seems to be a ‘journo’s’ impression.

  • avatar
    frozenman

    When Fuji heavy decides to make a pickup (with low range) please wake me from my slumber:)

  • avatar
    brettc

    Perhaps VW could strike a deal with Ford and buy the old Ranger tooling and modify it to be a bit more modern in terms of design and crash safety. Offer the 2.5 I5 gas engine (simplicity) and the 2.0L TDI (economy) in various cab and drive-train options and watch it fly off lots.

    • 0 avatar
      VCplayer

      That’s an interesting thought, but I suspect that much like the old Panther tooling it has simply been worn out too much to be very useful at this point.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I really can not see VW putting a full size into the protected US and artificially biased pickup market.

    As the FTAs disappear and the chicken tax goes I foresee more competitive pickup market, not skewed to full size pickups.

    I don’t know where TTAC got this story from, VW. A bullShit story to raise discussion.

    The probability for the Amarok in the US is greater.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @BigAl – Canada may see the Amarok before the USA. Our EU FTA kicks in in 2 years. The only issue for me is as other bloggers have pointed out, VW does not have a stellar reputation for reliability.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Lou_BC
        We have some guys at work here and they appear not to have the VW issues.

        I wonder if it is with VW cars more so than with their commercial vehicles.

        I hope you Canadian’s get the Amarok, it’s build quality might surprise you.

        As for the cost they are comparable to the global Ranger and the Hilux prices prior to some competition.

  • avatar
    honda_lawn_art

    Unless it can best every other truck in fuel economy, don’t bother, because it has no chance of beating them in another category, not enough to sell it anyways.

    • 0 avatar
      honda_lawn_art

      Well golly! The Amarok is probably closer to what Americans would be interested in regarding a pickup from VW than anything else they could dream up. Plus, the Caddy is still made, it’s a little van. With a little polish these things could surprise the Chevy dealer.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @honda_lawn_art
      The Amarok has the second best FE in Australia for pickups.

      It’s getting 35mpg (US) on the highway and can carry a 2 800lb load and has a tow limit of 7 000lbs.

  • avatar
    psychoboy

    I know you guys are all frothy about the chicken tax…but that’s not the only thing preventing the return of the small pickup.

    EPA regulations tie carbon dioxide pollution to footprint. A bigger vehicle can produce more carbon dioxide. A small, but still useful, pickup generally produces more carbon dioxide than its footprint is allowed.

    If you need a small pickup, the EPA will effectively require it to be neutered to the point that you won’t want to buy it.

    http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/regulations/420f10014.pdf

    sure, there’s probably a market for the return of the VW Caddy, but is that market big enough to warrant building the it?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @psychoboy
      Yes, you are correct about your diesel EPA regulations, but not with CO2. The Amarok will sh!t in US CO2 emission regulations.

      The Chicken Tax is a big hurdle for VW in the case of the Amarok.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The Toyota Tacoma offers a 4.0-liter V6 (236 hp), the Nissan Frontier also offers a 4.0-liter V6 (261 hp), and the Chevrolet Colorado will have a 3.6-liter V6 (302 hp.)

      In Europe, the Toyota Hilux tops out at 169 hp, the Nissan has 228 hp, and I’ve already addressed the VW with its 177 hp 2.0-liter.

      The Aussies get the same 236 hp Toyota that the Americans have, while Nissan and VW provide what the Europeans have.

      As you can see, the US is getting more power in these trucks, not less. So much for that CAFE theory.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @PCH101,
        The Petrol (gas) engine is not used for towing or heavy work diesels are. Gas powered Pickups are being or have been deleted from the OEM Pickup lineups in Australia.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Pch101 – MPG and emissions are more relevant than displacement in relation to CAFE rules. Size of vehicle is a big factor in CAFE rules. We are seeing MPG numbers out of full sized pickup V8′s that exceed those of the 4.0 Tacoma. That negates your whole HP/displacement argument.

        CAFE has different emission and MPG standards than EU countries. Add to that fact USA CAFE is based on square foot footprint of the vehicle. That provides an advantage to larger vehicles.

        Many EU countries tax based on displacement so that tends to artificially lower displacement just like CAFE rules artificially bloat our trucks.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The poster above said, “If you need a small pickup, the EPA will effectively require it to be neutered to the point that you won’t want to buy it.”

          That is obviously false. If Americans bought trucks in their foreign spec, those trucks would be LESS powerful, not more.

          I realize that you guys are stuck on your soundbites, but none of them withstand even modest scrutiny. When the facts never square with your positions, then the problem is with your positions, not with the facts.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            We would like to debate you if you had a credible argument.

            But your argument is directly aligned to the UAW line, almost word for word.

            It makes me wonder how someone who tries to act like a knowledgeable person can be such a dumb f$ck regarding this issue.

            If you are an analyst try and use some common dog f$ck. In other words try and be objective instead of your ‘in a state of denial American Expectionalist’ attitude.

            You really look like a fool.

            In one sentence you state no one will pay Euro prices for pickups. Then you state the chicken tax has no effect. If Euro prices are what you expect Amercian’s to pay why is there a chicken tax?

            The same goes for you gasoline V6 midsizer. No gas V6 midsizer will outperform a diesel for work and towing, FE, etc.

            You really show some quite simplistic views that make you appear to be at times intellectually challenged.

            Are you scared of the world, or of life? You commentary makes me think so. The world is big ass bad place out to ruin America.

            Mature a little as a human and don’t be fearful of the world. You might even become a likeable person.

            Grow up and travel around the world, it’s an amazing place.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Pch101,
            The V6 in the Toyota is a “gutless” engine. The V6 gas in the Promaster cannot be given away in a Jeep. You need a diesel.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    VWs are not very reliable. The Amarok is not a bad looking truck but why would you pay more for a much less reliable truck. I would much rather have a Tacoma, Frontier, or Colorado/Canyon.

    As for larger trucks DM would prefer something 50% larger than the current full size with a 500 horsepower V8 motor. Bigger is better, isn’t that the American way even if you do not need something bigger? VW should not enter this market. If anything VW would be better to concentrate their resources on a competitive compact crossover with a diesel option.

  • avatar
    gglockster

    A ten year 100K mile bumper to bumper warranty, and included service contract would be about the only way I would ever consider VW to have a reliable pickup. A diesel option would be nice.

    I can’t see it happening. VW will either price it too high, or the reliability just won’t be there. This is besides the fact that a VW dealer’s service department has more fresh manure than a pickup bed can hold.

    They are more likely to go the Routan route and re-badge someone else’s vehicle and piss off another generation of buyers with arrogant sales, poor service, and a corporate mentality that doesn’t want to help existing customers. Just call 800-822-8987 and try and get them to actually DO something.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    VW isn’t stupid. Not the smartest, but a small truck offering would be devoured by the bottom end of the market. That’s what American fleet, cheapskates and other rebate demanding bottom feeders do best. That’s why Mazda, Mitsu and Isuzu ran screaming. VW is quite aware of this.

    Americans just don’t take small trucks as seriously as other parts of the world do. And they don’t have full-size trucks as the spoiler. The King Ranch of small trucks would get laughed out of the American market. But the high end has to subsidize the bottom end. It would be ridiculous to try to sell smaller trucks at higher prices than full-size MSRP, never mind after rebates. But that’s what small truck OEMs are faced with.

    Full-size trucks offer tremendous value and resale than some cars can’t match.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Here are some comments and a link regarding the issues confronting VW with trying to realise a pickup truck market in the US.

    From what I’ve read VW is more seriously considering the Caddy in the small van segement.

    Here’s a comment from a Ford (Dearborn) commercial executive in relation to the removal of the chicken tax.

    ” Potentially, it could reanimate the cadaverous compact-pickup segment and open the door to imported trucks like the VW Amarok and global Ford Ranger. Doug Scott, the head of marketing for Ford’s truck division, puts it succinctly: “With the [current] tax, importing a compact pickup is a nonstarter.”

    Here’s the link to substantiate my comments. So it’s not only VW who see the chicken tax as a hinderance to developing and expanding the US pickup truck market. This would give Americans’ a wider range of choice and increase competition. Which would translate into a better market.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/features/free-trade-cars-why-a-useurope-free-trade-agreement-is-a-good-idea-feature

    • 0 avatar
      VCplayer

      The lowering of trade barriers in general will probably allow more niche products in to the US market, but I wouldn’t count on anything drastic happening.

      Vehicles like the Amarok, Ranger, or Focus RS are cool products that will sell to a few faithful. If they were going to be some sort of “game changer” (Derek +1!) in the marketplace they either would be manufactured in a country with which the US has a FTA, or they would be manufactured domestically. As is the investment is considered too marginal to be worth bothering with; meaning whatever effect these vehicles have on the market will be a tiny one.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @VCplayer
        I think your correct in that the removal of the chicken tax isn’t going to make massive changes to the US pickup market.

        The US pickup market is dominated by full size trucks.

        What also needs to change are the technical barrier that are making it awkward for far more efficient and cleaner diesel tech to enter into the US market.

        If that was removed you would see a surge in very economical SUVs and pickups, irrespective of size or segment.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAF0 – Small truck OEMs found a home in OZ and struck gold, because of the affluence and the only other choices are SUVs, vans, crossovers, besides just cars. Small trucks command a premium price in OZ and high end, luxury mid-size pickups are common. What’s uncommon is the fleet, cheapskates and other rebate and huge incentive demanding bottom feeders that make up most of the small truck market in America.

          You need to ask yourself why Mitsu, Mazda, Isuzu and Ford, abandoned the American small truck market and set up shop in OZ. Not the same thing. Not even close.And just what do you think has changed since they ran screaming from the American market? Now America has even more choices competing for consumers.

          But despite all your small truck choices, Aussie consumers stick to the top 3 OEMs mostly. You could easily get by with just the top OEMs. American could use 12 choices in compact roadsters, I guess, but what would be the benefit for the other 9 OEMs that just get the scraps left by the top 3?

          But no OEM has ever had to pay 25% to import. It’s too easy to ship the drivetrain separate and join them at landfall. That’s how the Sprinters are done. And soon the Transit Connects. Plug and play, drive away.

          If a small truck global/import is meant to be here, and has a true calling, it would be here.

          VW is thinking ‘Screw the American market’, when it comes to small trucks. But do you really expect them to say that? What do you think Mazda and Mitusbishi’s answer would be???

          But what’s VWs lame chicken excuse for not enriching the lives of American consumers with the Polo or Scirocco?


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States