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

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
volkswagen considering amarok pickup for canada stop us if you ve heard that before

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 “”. 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.

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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.

  • Damon Thomas Adding to the POSITIVES... It's a pretty fun car to mod
  • GregLocock Two adjacent states in Australia have different attitudes to roadworthy inspections. In NSW they are annual. In Victoria they only occur at change of ownership. As you'd expect this leads to many people in Vic keeping their old car.So if the worrywarts are correct Victoria's roads would be full of beaten up cars and so have a high accident rate compared with NSW. Oh well, the stats don't agree.
  • Lorenzo In Massachusetts, they used to require an inspection every 6 months, checking your brake lights, turn signals, horn, and headlight alignment, for two bucks.Now I get an "inspection" every two years in California, and all they check is the smog. MAYBE they notice the tire tread, squeaky brakes, or steering when they drive it into the bay, but all they check is the smog equipment and tailpipe emissions.For all they would know, the headlights, horn, and turn signals might not work, and the car has a "speed wobble" at 45 mph. AFAIK, they don't even check EVs.
  • Not Tire shop mechanic tugging on my wheel after I complained of grinding noise didn’t catch that the ball joint was failing. Subsequently failed to prevent the catastrophic failure of the ball joint and separation of the steering knuckle from the car! I’ve never lived in a state that required annual inspection, but can’t say that having the requirement has any bearing on improving safety given my experience with mechanics…
  • Mike978 Wow 700 days even with the recent car shortages.