Volkswagen Considering Amarok Pickup For Canada – Stop Us If You've Heard That Before

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

With news of Volkswagen apparently considering the Amarok pickup for sale in Canada comes the strange sense of deja vu that us socialist Northerners get whenever an enticing, not-sold-in-America product is discussed.

As recently as 2009, a senior Volkswagen exec was overheard discussing the plight of the Volkswagen Polo. Apparently, dealers were crying out for the car, amid record gas prices in 2008. TDI sales were accounting for as much as 50 percent of Volkswagen’s total mix, and the dealers thought an even more efficient subcompact with a TDI option would be a slam dunk.

Not so. Homologating the Polo would have simply cost too much, as our vehicle standards are nearly in line with the United States. Certifying a car for a market the size of the United States might be feasible. But for a market one-tenth the size, it’s in the territory of “notgonnahappen.com”. To pour salt on the dealer body’s wounds, Australia, a market similar in size, gets the Polo, but only because their standards are much more relaxed.

And so we come to the Amarok, the pickup truck that Volkswagen fanboys have been drooling over since its introduction. Canadians like Volkswagens, diesels and small vehicles. Should be a no-brainer, right? Not quite. The big dogs of the Canadian pickup market are the Ford F-Series, Chevrolet/GMC Twins and the RAM line. T ogether they accounted for nearly 84 percent of the market in 2011. The top selling compact, the Ford Ranger, got a mere 5.5 percent of the market. The Toyota Tacoma got just 2.6 percent market share.

Just like the United States, compact pickups appear to be a non-starter in Canada. Granted, the Amarok does have a VW badge and ostensibly a TDI option. Those would count for something. The unknown costs of certifying the Amarok are the biggest variable here, but VW of America is apparently not going to take the Amarok, making the economic case that much harder. While the Autoblog article notes that Volkswagen sold the MKIV Golf and Jetta as the “City” line long after the MKV debuted, those cars had already been homologated for Canada. This is a totally different story.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Broo Broo on Jun 01, 2012

    Hope there are more models than this one. A 4 door pickup with almost no box to carry stuff is rather useless unless all you do is tow. If Toyota did offer a 7' box on their Tacoma, there would be one in my driveway. There's now way I'll buy a full size, it's just too huge and therefore unpractical. Meanwhile, I'll keep my long bed Ranger.

  • Oosh Oosh on Jun 01, 2012

    "Australia, a market similar in size, gets the Polo, but only because their standards are much more relaxed." Really!? Our ADRs are routinely referred to as a form of non-tariff trade barriers locally due the fact they're unique to our market. I would say the reason we got the Polo and Canada didn't is we're used to paying a great deal more for cars than the NA markets would ever bare so the business case better stacks up.

  • The Oracle This thing got porky quick.
  • Kwi65728132 I'll grant that it's nicely kept but I'm not a fan of the bangle butt designs, and I know better than to buy a used BMW while living anywhere in the world other than in the fatherland where these are as common as any Honda or Toyota is anywhere else.
  • ChristianWimmer When these came out I thought they were hideous: now they’ve grown on me. This one looks pretty nice. Well-maintained, low mileage and some good-looking wheels that aren’t super fancy but not cheap-looking or boring either, they are just right.
  • Aja8888 Someday in the far away future, all cars will look the same, people will be the same color, dogs will be all mixed beyond recognition, and governments will own everything. That car looks like my son's Hyundai Tucson without badges.
  • Tassos Of course, what the hell did you expect? A SERIOUS, BEAUTIFUL car you can ACTUALLY USE AS YOUR DAILY DRIVER???............. NOOOOO, THIS IS TIM WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. SO HE FINDS SOME OBSOLETE POS WHICH IS 22 years old, .............AND HE PURPOSELY MISSES THE BEAUTIFUL MODEL, THE Classical Beauty E39 that ended in 2003. ...........So he uses his column as a WASTEBASKET once again, to throw the first year of BMWs BANGLED 5 series (as in the INFAMOUS CHRIS BANGLE WHO SCREWED UP THE DESIGN ROYALLY). ................................................ As Dr. Evil, Fake Doctor Jill Biden would scream at the top of her voice, so her senile idiot husband could hear her, "Good Job, (Tim)! You answered all the questions and ticked all the boxes!" ..... KEEP UP THE S---Y work, Tim!
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