By on March 26, 2018

2017 Volkswagen Amarok, Image: Volkswagen

Buyers in foreign markets enjoy far greater midsize pickup choice than their counterparts in North America. Besides the usual products from General Motors and Ford (the latter of which we’re only just being introduced to), there’s offerings from Mitsubishi, Fiat, even Volkswagen. Has decades of full-size truck dominance made North America too unforgiving for smaller entries? Sales of the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, and Chevrolet Colorado say otherwise.

There’s midsize ground to be gained here, but no new model faces a guarantee of success. Volkswagen, which sells the body-on-frame Amarok (seen above) overseas, apparently wants to find out how Americans would feel about a smaller, lighter entry in the midsize pickup game. According to sources, it wants to find out this week.

Sources close to the matter tell Automotive News VW plans to showcase a unibody truck concept based on the Atlas midsize crossover at this week’s New York International Auto Show. The public’s reaction to the concept will guide VW towards a decision to either kill the idea or greenlight it for production.

Many would-be small truck makers can’t get their wares to the U.S. market due to the chicken tax and the high cost of adding tooling (and capacity) to existing facilities. And that’s if the automaker even has U.S. facilities. For VW, the unnamed truck would roll out of its Chattanooga, Tennessee assembly plant, which stands to gain a second new model in short order. The automaker plans to reveal a sportier, five-door variant of the Atlas this week.

While the Amarok boasts 2,400 pounds of payload capacity, this model would go the way of the Honda Ridgeline, offering buyers a familiar, car-like driving experience with the ability to venture tentatively off-road. The truck’s bed would not rest atop leaf springs and a ladder-type frame, making dorm room furniture, not gravel, its most likely occupant.

Wikimedia

Long ago, VW sold the Rabbit Pickup in the U.S. to compete against other car-based trucks like the Chevrolet El Camino, Dodge Rampage, and Plymouth Scamp. Canada even bought a military vehicle based on the Rabbit’s bones and used it seemingly forever. This vehicle, if built, would not be quite so dainty.

Is the demand there? Volkswagen would love to discover it is, but the Ridgeline’s story suggests a cautious approach. While reviewers were pleasantly surprised at the second-generation model’s prowess in handling the rough stuff, sales seems to be heading in a direction that requires downshifting and careful use of the brakes.

Thus far, U.S. sales have not reached the level seen in the early years of the first-generation Ridgeline. In February, Ridgeline sales fell 32.3 percent, year over year. Over the first two months of 2018, sales fell 27.4 percent. Compare that to the 55 percent increase in sales of the truck’s platform mate, the Pilot.

[Images: Volkswagen, Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)]

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108 Comments on “Are Americans Ready for a Volkswagen Pickup? VW Aims to Find Out...”


  • avatar
    Sub-600

    It’ll be overpriced and underpowered. They’ll probably sell like hotcakes.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Sales of the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, and Chevrolet Colorado say otherwise.”

    All of which are huge. What say you VAG?

  • avatar
    ajla

    “VW plans to showcase a unibody truck concept based on the Atlas midsize crossover”

    Is it going to look cool like a Strada, or be the vehiular version of dad jeans & a fanny pack like the Ridgeline?

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Agreed. An unabashedly cheap/utilitarian compact FWD truck like the Strada or Ram 700 would be really neat. Another Ridgeline? Eh not so excited. We got 10 inches of snow dumped on us on Saturday, I had just hand washed the 4Runner so there was no way it was going back out in the salt and slush. I thankfully had no immediate need to drive anywhere but for kicks I shoved in a bed full of wet snow in the back of my new ’94 Ranger and tried driving around our un-plowed side streets. Mind you the tires are all fairly old all seasons and one on the back is basically bald. I was surprised that I was able to get around okay, with a lot of slow motion wheel-spin and lugging the motor in 2nd gear. There’s no way I would have taken it out at higher speeds. It’s also nice and flat in my neighborhood, I would have been a sitting duck otherwise.

      What I’m getting at is a cheap FWD based truck with an accessible bed like my little RWD Ranger would actually be really appealing to me as a commuter/weekend hauler. Just make sure it has a stick shift as that’s all part of the fun of a small low power truck!

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        https://www.allpar.com/trucks/ram/ram-700.html

        Chevy Tornado, Ram 700, VW Saveiro, all with prices in the low-mid teens (In Mexico). Start localized production here in the US and I’d be seriously interested!

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Thumbs up, gtem

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          In general, with “cars” struggling so much I’m surprised no brand without a full-size truck offering has done a unibody “Ute” offering just to broaden the appeal of those lines.

          Sales of an an Alltrak-based “truck” or El Optimamino wouldn’t scare the F-Series or anything but it seems worth a shot considering the utility obsessed current market.

        • 0 avatar
          Magnusmaster

          LOL all of these are horrible and don’t meet US safety standards. Even Latin America is ditching them as they opt for larger pick-up trucks and larger UTEs based on global cars.

          • 0 avatar
            gmichaelj

            Seems like they’d be able to easily adapt them to meet safety standards if they were based on a car platform that already met those same standards

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Take a $10k Versa that passes US safety tests, turn it into one of these trucklets. Simple. But it is certainly a question of whether enough consumers want them. I’ve got no image-issues driving an old 4cyl compact truck and it’s much easier for what I actually need to do with it (haul beds full of mulch and soil for gardening and such). But it’s certainly no family vehicle, and I understand the appeal of a modern do-it-all half-ton crew-cab 4wd. Already this spring I’ve hauled 40 cu ft of bagged mulch, a bed full of loose mulch, a bed full of gardening soil. In addition to much easier loading/unloading, twice this spring I’ve been able to squeeze past gates to unload right where I need to, even a modern midsizer would not have fit.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Make it small enough and you might be surprised how many people want them. Especially if there’s an AWD version.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        gtem,
        We have them in Australia. They are Chinese and Indian pickups. A couple of them are okay.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Yeah there’s those pesky safety and emissions “regs” on the front side, but the real killers are the dreaded “Lemon Laws”.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            DiM,
            US, ‘murica safety. Read the article

            https://www.carshowroom.com.au/news/2018-ford-mustang-gets-improved-3-star-euroncap-rating/

            Chinese pickup!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read the article

            Even in the base model the T60 has a rear-view camera, rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring and six airbags.

            https://www.caradvice.com.au/586904/2018-ldv-t60-five-star-ancap-score-in-chinese-brands-sights/

            https://www.caradvice.com.au/596865/ldv-t60-haval-h2-honda-cr-v-get-five-star-ancap-rating/

            This one is cheaper than the US base Frontier and it can carry as much as the lower end F250 and F350! and tow 6 700lbs! And diesel! The same 2.8 used in the Colorado!
            https://www.caradvice.com.au/622874/2018-ldv-t60-cab-chassis-pricing/

            My favourite Chinese pickup, cheaper than a US Frontier and as safe as a Mustang with a Cummins diesel, Getrag tx, Borg Warner tx case, Dana Axles, Bosch injection, what is there not to like!

            https://www.caradvice.com.au/309901/foton-tunland-review/

            If you want cheap reliable and ‘Murica Mustang safe this one is very reliable and costs $12k – $13k US.

            https://www.caradvice.com.au/328007/2015-mahindra-pik-up-review/

            There is so much choice in free economies, it’s great isn’t it;)

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Clearly you’ve never heard of “Lemon Laws”, a weird concept in your part of the world, Africa, SE Asia, OZ, etc.

            So here you go, you can thank me later:

            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_law

            This explains exactly why you’ve got an unmatched (1st world) availability of subpar brands/OEMs including some from China/India of questionable reliability, value, emissions, and of course diminished “safety”.

            Clearly it’s why Ford thought a Mustang with omitted/deleted safety features would be right at home in Australia, The Congo, etc.

            The waiting list, buying frenzy for the “2-Star” Mustang in OZ was like none other.

            But I’ll at least you guys in OZ are sharp enough to not buy too many Mahindras, Great Walls, etc, pickup “Choices”, compared to the normal/mainstream offerings from Toyota, Ford, Mitsu, Nissan, etc.

            Your payload “restrictions” for midsize pickups is borderline insane. But it goes with the territory. They’re basically, physically the same midsize trucks we have in the US, except US regs rate them with rational payload limits, instead of Looney Tune.

            You’re living in the Wild West for autos (and Road Trains!). Clearly. Enjoy that while you can!

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            DiMwIt,
            Um …….. FCA are sold in Australia (the same as the US) and they are on par with Chinese and Mahindra vehicles for reliability.

            So much for your Lemon Laws. Plus we are talking vehicle safety here, not fruit or chickens.

            As I stated you got nothing, mate.

  • avatar
    d4rksabre

    If anything we at least need more competition among the mid-size truck segment. The Colorado and Canyon are just a bit too expensive compared to their full-size counterparts.

    I’m really looking forward to the Ranger and the Ranger-based Bronco. I want more competition for the 4Runner/Jeeps.

  • avatar
    mojeimeje

    “Canada even bought a military vehicle based on the Rabbit’s bones and used it seemingly forever. This vehicle, if built, would not be quite so dainty.”

    Are you thinking about the Iltis? That was based on the Audi platform with a longitudinal engine.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’m amazed Subaru hasn’t considered something like this.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Me too. I see plenty of Subie drivers that are avid gardeners and DIYers, and out by my folks in rural Central NY lots of “back to basics” people that have built small homes out in the boonies with solar panels and large gardens and such. AWD pickup with Subaru image seems like a logical place for them to go! My folks would be prime targets as well, they currently use my dad’s ’07 Fit for farm hauling up to and including whole bee hives (with bees inside).

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        Remember the Legacy-based Baja? I don’t think they sold enough to justify trying again.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Not a usefully sized bed IMO, but you make a fair point. I’m envisioning more of a extended cab sort of thing with a 5.5′ bed:

          see Ram 700 (but longer bed):
          goo.gl/images/9OJe2w

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            C&D when speaking of the Baja called it the “Herve Villechaize Memorial Bed” – mocking it’s diminutive size.

            I had a neighbor who had one and promptly put a cap on it. that made me scratch my head and want to ask: “Why didn’t you buy a Legacy wagon/Outback?”

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Had the Baja stayed on the market even one more year, I would have purchased it over the JKU Wrangler I did. I do agree that a more extended-cab/long-bed design would have sold much, MUCH better.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          True, but they brought the Baja out a long time ago, and it kinda sucked.

          Between VW and Subaru, I would have to think the latter would have more success if they put out something that was usefully sized, and didn’t look like a Legacy.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            The Baja remains very popular in my area. The most striking one I saw one day at Walmart was Yellow, and very well maintained. Shiny. Like new.

            Subies remain very popular in mountainous snow country where I live. Lodges and individuals often own more than one.

            One Lodge has six Subies.

      • 0 avatar
        civicjohn

        I always liked the fact that I had a couple of chairs for those deemed “most drunk” coming home from a frat party.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    As mentioned, a truck like the long departed Caddy (Dodge Rampage!) would be great. Jetta based, FWD or AWD. Having had a Ram as a rental for a week, I would love having a truck bed when needed without having to rent one. But I don’t need it enough to justify the huge cost and relative inconvenience of a large or even mid-size pickup. Something to toss the kids bikes in, bags of mulch or stone from the big box stores,etc.

    I’d REALLY like VW to bring me a van to compete with Sienna/Odyssey/Pacifica. My parents borrowed our Sienna to pick up a new recliner and I drove their Q5. If I could only get the VWAG dynamics in a box with sliding doors that fits in my garage, that would be great.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    I can’t buy the chicken tax argument anymore, since Ford can pay it on the Transit Connect. Sure it will eat into profits, but totally wipe them out? I find it hard to believe. This goes double for more expensive (higher margin) trucks.

    And an upcoming 5 door Atlas? I’m sure you meant 5 passenger.

    I like the concept of the Ridgeline. Unfortunately, it seems not enough buyers do. I would like to see the unibody “urban truck” niche do decent, with the Honda, this VW, and future competitors (reborn Explorer Sport Trac anyone?), I just don’t think it will.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      The Ridgeline is really a quite capable vehicle, especially in AWD form, as long as it’s used within its design parameters (which most pickup owners never even approach.) The problem with the Ridgeline is that it was made big to compete with full-sized trucks while full-sized truck owners tend to go the Jeremy Clarkson route over the James May route in vehicle purchasing. (Old Top Gear watchers will understand what I mean, especially when I mention ‘Captain Slow.) A Richard Hammond-sized truck that offers a balance between the other two in performance and functionality would be ideal for the modern CUV buyer.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        Brilliant TG reference. Instead of Drive / Burn / Sell we should have a game where you have to assign 3 cars to the 3 presenters.

        Sadly VW is out of the one market where they had the proper engine for such a vehicle – an oil burner.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        The Ridgeline is very popular with the ladies in my area. No doubt if VW comes out with their VW version of the Ridgeline there will be buyers for it too.

        But the more discerning Cowgirls still drive an F150. People can’t go wrong buying an F-series truck. And that’s why they continue to be the best-selling pickup trucks in America.

        Hey, there’s room in the market for a VW trucklet. But it remains to be seen if it can be profitable.

        The Ridgeline is not profitable, basically a Pilot with a bed, but the rest of the Honda line carry it.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          So, you drive a Ridgline then?

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Where I live, it’s working men who own them, not women. Not once have I seen a woman driving a Ridgeline while I know of several railroad workers who own and drive them.

          It seems that since they work with the Big, big boys, they don’t need to put on airs trying to look tough.

    • 0 avatar
      Tele Vision

      A friend is on his second Japalanche and loves it more than his First Gen one. For what it’s worth he’s a trapper and taxidermist.

    • 0 avatar
      la834

      The Transit Connect skirts the chicken tax by building the vans overseas but fitting them with seats, carpeting, and windows. This means that when they arrive at US Customs, they are not “trucks” but rather passenger vehicles, which are not subject to the 25% tax (that’s why post-1965 VW panel vans disappeared in the US but VW passenger vans and camper vans continued being imported for several decades later). Ford, after Transit Connects arrive in America, then removes and recycles the seats, and removes the windows and replaces them with steel panels. Magically, you now have a commercial van that wasn’t a “truck” when it first landed in the US and which never had to pay a chicken tax. The old Subaru BRAT had those little jump seats in the bed for the same reason – owners nearly all ripped them out shortly after buying them. In other countries it was sold with rear jump seats as a proper truck.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Ford did try that for sometime but Customs put an end to that saying it was done purely to circumvent the chicken tax, stating that “The product as entered is not a commercial reality; it exists only to manipulate the tariff schedule rather than for any manufacturing or commercial purpose,”

  • avatar
    mikedt

    I think there’s a market and in fact I would give VW some money for one as long as its starting price was closer to $20k vs the Ridgeline’s $30k. At the Ridgeline’s price I might as well buy an F150. I think a lot of people make that decision.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      It’d still have to compete with the Frontier. And no one can forget “German Engineering” and what not.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      The VW Atlas starts at $30k. This won’t be 10 grander cheaper sorry.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        … Which is at least one reason why this should be Tuareg-sized rather than Atlas-sized.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It’s the market place that sets the price. SUVs based on pickups usually have a $10K premium (MSRP) or more, over the pickups they’re based on, and share a platform with, similar trim levels.

        It makes no difference if pickups are more expensive to build, vs SUVs which have a very limited selection of engines, trim, wheelbase etc. It is what it is.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    If it comes in as roughly Atlas-sized, it may be too big. On the other hand, Tuareg-sized might work. It really needs to be smaller than current mid-sized trucks if it wants to hit the crossover market buyers.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    Pickup trucks are vehicles that make a statement about values. The truck bed usually never sees any use. Pickup truck ownership is a political-cultural statement about having a Trumpesque lack of values, disliking education and the use of the human brain in general, being in favor of ownership of arms capable of mass murders, favoring Russian election interference, wanting to end health care, etc.etc. So, a VW pickup truck will never sell.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Sheesh! Did you have to go all political with something as stupid as that? While in general you are correct that the average pickup buyer is more about machismo than utility, the CUV market NEEDS a compact truck small enough to be economical while still offering a reasonably sized open bed for carrying things you just don’t WANT to carry in the cabin. Such people would likely be far more Centrist than those you described.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    While the North America has less midsize pickup choices, how many do we really need? That’s what VW is really asking themselves. And how low do they need to price them to compete with the others.

    Except we have even less fullsize pickup choices, really just 3, and no one complains there’s not enough. It feels like a lot more choices since there’s so many fullsize classes, beside engine, trim, packages, etc.

    The rest of the world would probably have less midsize pickup choices if they had a full array of fullsize pickups to choose from. Yeah, yeah I understand the rest of the world is end-to-end Medieval Villages with tiny streets meant for horse drawn carriages formed around their stone castles.

    Although we had a full array of smaller pickups in the US, more than any other market in the world, and yes despite the “Chicken tax”. Some how, incredibly they worked around it.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “While the North America has less midsize pickup choices, how many do we really need? ”

      What we NEED, DM, is real choice; not somebody’s impression of what an “ideal pickup truck” should be. That choice should not only be in brands (the more the merrier) but also in size (not everyone wants or needs something as large as the typical mid- and full-sized models available. And they need to be priced to compete with the group they’re meant to compete with; compact, mid- or full-sized, not three sizes competing at the same price levels. People will buy what they want as long as there is enough differential in sizes and prices to let them get what they need without going overboard.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The money just isn’t there. These aren’t non profits or state owned. OK GM was temporarily, but good luck on getting what you want.

        I demand compact mid-engine 2-seater runabouts to make a complete comeback, and I think I’ll get my wish before you do.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          If jacked up compact hatchbacks with optional AWD and turbo-4 engines are so successful that it is literally turning traditional sedans into a niche segment, I don’t see why a jacked up compact car with optional AWD and a truck bed would be a dismal failure.

          The existence of the Suburban and Navigator doesn’t much impact the sales of the Trax or Encore. Why would the F-150 and Silverado kill a compact truck?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The existence of F-150/fullsizers have absolutely nothing to do with the compact pickup segment, or lack there of, especially when there’s midsizers in between.

            Automakers may even make a sizable profit off of compact pickups base on CUVs, but it would seem it’s not enough.

            They’re not crazy, if there was enough profits, they’d be in showrooms for you to reject.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            ajla,
            I don’t think the market for little utes is that big in the US, even Australia the market was niche.

            The US does have a much bigger midsize market and I do believe greater choice would make them more popular. The midsizer is not exactly a small car and would suit many.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Vulpine,
        There is some consumer input into US midsizers. But the reality is how competitive are they? Are they exported? Australia and a few other nations have FTAs with the US where we can get these midsizers tariff free.

        If the US received vehicles then the consumer could decide what is good for them. Choice is what’s needed.

        The EU is almost as bad as the US with a 10% tax on most pickups, that even makes imports expensive for them.

        But, there’s a guy from Winnepeg who lives in a two bedroom apartment who rants and raves about the EU, when its the Asians that are producing most of the global pickups. Odd man he is, very abstract and illogical in thought.

        I don’t see any. What’s wrong with them? Too expensive? Not durable enough for the global market?

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Oh, The last para should read; “I don’t see any US midsize pickups outside of the US. What is wrong with them?

          There is a huge midsize global market. I think they are too light and not durable enough and overly expensive to export.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Yeah, I keep forgetting that all those Ford Rangers running around with Ford emblems on them arent really, you know, products of the Ford Motor Company, Headquartered in, you know, Dearborn Michigan, USA.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Art,
            Why isn’t the US exporting the Tacoma, Colorado/Canyon, Ridgeline, Frontier?

            That’s my point. The global midsize pickup market is booming even compared to the US.

            So, why isn’t the US exporting midsize pickups?

            What is wrong with them? Why are they not suitable for the global market?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      DenverMike,
      As Vulpine has stated you have been given masses of links and you have not provided one supporting your initial view “how can there be imported pickups, so the chicken tax has no effect”.

      You, then go on about the Europeans or something regarding “crappy” pickups and they are not competitive.

      You now (further down) are discussing orchards or lemons or something about fruit to justify your stance.

      You are either in the spectrum, on drugs, or just a plain and simple fnckwit troll.

      The Chinese and Asian can and do build lots of pickups. The Chicken Tax is to prevent them over running the US market.

      The US can in no way remove the chicken tax or it will spell the end of Detroit. The US is a Jurassic Park in auto manufacturing. Yes fullsize pickups are nice. But the US has the same problem Australia has, it’s damn expensive to manufacture in the country. The difference our government decided what the people wanted, that is to stop wasting our money supporting an industry that wasn’t viable or competitive. Australia can and did build nice vehicles, but the were like US vehicles, very average with big engines. Not a big market for those globally.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – How hard is it to provide the make/model/national origin of any truck that could possibly make a tiny dent in Ford/GM/Ram pickup sales, let alone “harm”, and without damaging Toyota/Nissan/Honda/etc first?

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I expect they would all be damaged equally at that point, which means they would either need to up their game or get out.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            First name what truck or trucks would be doing “the damage”. Remember US pickup sales are in the 3 million units range.

            Imaginary trucks only get you so far.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Chinese trucks are not imaginary.
            European trucks are not imaginary.
            South American trucks are not imaginary.

            All are being kept out by the Chicken Tax… for now.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            OK first things last. Name specific trucks? What are we working with here, and how would they reform and put US pickup makers, including Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Heavy Dutys, in their place, and force them to pickup their game and drop their prices 20+ %.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “…how would it reform and put US pickup makers, including Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Heavy Dutys, in their place?”
            —- That’s not what I said. I said dropping the Chicken Tax would affect all of those you just named, equally.

            “first things last. Name a specific trucks? What are we working with here, ”
            —- Like I said, Asian, European and South American trucks, including FCA and GM models not already sold here.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Can you be a little more vague? How about a specific truck? I’m sure you’ve done your research, not just talking out of your back pocket.

            Maybe the top candidate for US import? I just want to have look myself.

            It doesn’t have to completely change the US pickup market or set it on fire, just a reasonable dent.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            There’s part of your problem right there; you have Tunnel Vision. You’re so focused on finding one, single, tree that you can’t see the forest.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            If there’s that many, why can’t you come up with just one? I promise not to laugh (much!).

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Simple solution. Remove the Chicken tax and adopt UN vehicle design regulations.

    The other 7 billion on the planet might be wrong here.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “…The other 7 Billion on the…”

      There isn’t a “world standard” as you keep repeating.

      Like most things involving international trade, it’s gets political. Dropping the Chicken tax won’t prompt Europe to drop their Chicken tax, get real.

      Europe definitely is ready to drop it’s 10% tariff duty on import cars. They’re hanging on to that like their life depends on it. I think it does.

      US vehicle regulators, NHTSA, CAFE, CARB etc, are in no way concerned with ease of exports or “trade”. Automakers can figure out that for themselves.

      Yet we could live without the Chicken tax no problem. Although Toyota/Nissan/Honda and others might have a big problem with losing it.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Truck prices might actually drop 20% – 25% if we lost the Chicken Tax. That would definitely be good news for the American people.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          …”Truck prices might actually drop 20% – 25% if we lost the Chicken…”

          How might that happen? I’m not seeing the connection.

          Mexican Silverado/Sierras are priced like any other competing truck and building them in China wouldn’t change that.

          Or maybe I missed something? Please explain!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I’ve been explaining it to you for the last five years, DM, if not longer. I can’t help it that you don’t want to believe it.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            OK just the cliff notes…

            Nope you’ve never been able to explain that. It’s not even your own thought, just something you overheard from someone knowing absolutely nothing on the topic, probably BAFO.

            In fact I know it was BAFO and when I’ve questioned him about it, he always scampers off.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Mike, be careful there. You’re getting awful close to being insulting.

            You forget, Mike, that I lived through those days. I experienced them for myself and saw what happened. Quite literally, it was a trade war thing with Germany that affected all imports to a lesser extent but especially trucks. That’s why the VW Type 2 pickup vanished from the American market so suddenly. The only reason Toyota, Mazda and Nissan were able to keep going was their partnerships with American brands and/or their own entries to actual manufacturing in the States or Mexico.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – You’re still dancing around the question. Simply explain how we might see a 20 to 25% drop in pickup prices without the Chicken tax.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            No. I’ve told you more times than I can count. I don’t care to repeat myself yet again.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            What do you call that dance? Can you and BAFO do it in a line??

            25 words would do. Just throw in some key words or something. Normally you’re long winded. Now cat’s got your tongue or what’s up?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Now cat’s got your tongue or what’s up?”

            I just happen to enjoy watching you beg for something to argue against. Why? Because you know you’re wrong and you refuse to admit it.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            So you enjoy being evasive, skirting the simple question?

            If I’m wrong here, why are you sidestepping and doing your little dance?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            If you were right you would have come up with incontrovertible proof, which you haven’t. I, at least, have offered proof multiple times and you’ve chosen to ignore it.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            That’s like me exclaiming: “Big Foot lives!”, then “I’m right unless you can show proof I”m wrong”.

            You’re constantly saying pickup prices would drop by 20 to 25%, minus the Chicken tax, and it’d dramatically change the US pickup market yet you’ve never offered anything to even remotely, back that up, and expect others to provide proof you’re wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Well, here’s some very up-to-date proof: https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2018/03/u-s-south-korea-reach-trade-deal-no-korean-built-hyundai-pickups-americas-future/

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            That’s “proof”? You’re supposed to not make me lol.

            I guess Hyundai is crazy for preferring to build cars/CUVs that generate “profit”.

            And crazy for building cars in the US, (including the donor chassis/platform for the Santa Cruz) when it doesn’t even have to?

            There’s no Chicken tax on cars, but most offshore brands prefer to built them/some in the US for no good reason?

            Except the Santa Cruz would be need to be imported? ‘cuase it’s a “pickups”?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Clearly you don’t know how to read. End of discussion.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    How about a Transit Connect Cutaway with a flat bed? I’m sure they have them in Europe. and better beer.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Eh, maybe 15 years ago they had better beer but we are right up there now. Good Beer is one of the few real contributions to our culture the hipsters have made.

  • avatar
    TW5

    VW is hoping in vain that their turbocharged 4-cylinder engines will give them an edge as CAFE starts to take a bite out of midsize truck performance and power.

    Not sure anyone should be charging into this segment until we know what’s happening with CAFE.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    Got this per email from my #2 son in San Diego, CA. Thought you GM guys might like it.

    http://www.foxnews.com/auto/2018/03/26/gmc-sierra-at4-takes-professional-grade-pickups-to-new-heights.html

  • avatar

    And with Volkswagen’s legendary reliability, what more could one ask for?

  • avatar
    George B

    The big problem with foreign designed pickup trucks is that the bed doesn’t match the dimensions of stuff a typical home owner would want to put in the bed. What are the odds that the German engineers who design this have ever visited a Home Depot? They should be given a shopping list for wood for a home owner project, drive to Home Depot, pick up the wood including 4ft x 8ft sheets, and then have to haul it 5 miles on suburban streets without losing or damaging anything. They should then repeat the process using a right sized 20th century American pickup truck.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      The Amarok’s stock bed boasts the ability to easily carry two one-meter pallets loaded with material. Two meters is over 6.5 feet, longer than the typical crew-cab pickup bed in the US. The width of the Amarok’s bed is 1.222 meters between the wheel wells, a hair over 4 feet, meaning it can easily carry American lumber, drywall, etc. as well as any American-made pickup.

      Now, I’ll grant that a smaller truck wouldn’t offer the same capability but I would remind you that American mid-sized trucks already have built-in pockets and rails to allow such wider loads to ride on top of the wheel wells–or did, at least. The only reason the newer ones might not is because they are now nearly as wide as a full-sized truck–not even 10% smaller in most dimensions.

      • 0 avatar
        Frylock350

        @Vulpine? Easily? 1.222 meters is just 3mm more than 4ft. I would call that barely, not easily.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Better than not at all and really doesn’t matter anyway since it is possible to create a proper bridge to carry it other ways. I sure as heck don’t need a $35K+ full sized pickup truck to carry the lumber I’m going to need for a couple of DIY projects on my agenda. My 20-year old Ford Ranger can do it quite well. I just want a newer version at the same size.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        So your the guy who made them sell 750ml bottles of booze instead of quarts and those funny 11.3 oz bottles of beer. 12.5M of 1 inch garden hose? Metric and English bolts on the same vehicle sub-assembly? i.e disc brakes. Before it’s too late, we’re catching on to your subtle, and possible trending to benign evil, ways of bringing up the metric system. That Sir, is getting high-school slow dancing close to science.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      People going to Home Depot for large scale home projects that require 4×8 sheets of material will keep buying Silverados and F150s as they always have. This trucklet would target a different customer. Probably one visiting the garden section instead.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Frylock,
        What?

        Ever heard of delivery?

        By the time you fart around loading and unloading you could of been at home working and renovating those precious few hours we get, called weekends.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          If you want to go to the store on Mon or Tue with the hope there will still be a Sat delivery slot available and hopefully not the last one of the day. Not to mention that there is a minimum purchase amount for that free delivery.

          So no delivery is not really an decent option for a small project.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      We do the same in Australia, as much or even more than the US and we mainly have midsizers.

      How are you going to move 12′ sheets of drywall?

      I call you out here. BS.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        First off most DIY’ers don’t work with 12′ drywall but if you have a proper pickup, with an 8′ bed it will work just fine as ~10′ of it will be supported by the bed and tail gate. I’ve done it more than once.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Scoutdude,
          Prior to my career change into aviation I was a carpenter, a chippy.

          You are now in my old trade. Why would you use 2.4m sheets of gyprock? Have you ever plastered before?

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Less seams with 12 foot drywall. A pain to work with, but less seams. Sometimes your total and complete lack of knowledge of the US markets is mind boggling. However, your don’t back down from being completely wrong. Sometimes you even double down on your current inaccuracy. It’s fun to watch. I’ve worked 20 feet pieces of drywall and was really glad when that job was done. It was delivered on a trailer.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Australia’s home improvement market is worth over $40 billion a year, and one of the few retail segments that has been posting consistently strong growth in recent years.

          http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-18/janda-masters-hardware-woolworths-does-some-home-improvement/7095810

          It was estimated that U.S. improvement and repair expenditure amounted to about 326.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2015.

          https://www.statista.com/topics/1732/home-improvement/

          el scotto,
          My step brother in NJ works for Tri County Building Supplies. I do have some knowlege of what goes on.

          Look at the figures above regarding the DIY markets between Oz and the US. Remember Australia has 15 times less people.

          If we were the US our DIY industry would be nearly $700 billion AUD or $500 Billion in USD.

          We do a lot of DIY. You don’t need a full size to go to Lowes or in our case Bunnings. What BS.

          As deliveries go, you plan and organise your work. If you can’t even organise the major items needed, ie, timber (lumber), basic hardware, sheetrock, bags of cement, then don’t even consider starting the task, or you’ll just screw it up and it looks sh!t. I have in the past and even now go around to friends who think they know boats in building and construction to repair their fnckups.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            BAFO’s problem with 12′ drywall/materials is it makes it a b!tch to handle with a midsize Ute/truck, especially those with just 5′ beds which are the maximum pickup beds (with crew cabs) in OZ.

            Yes 12 ft drywall isn’t easy to handle especially installing on the lid/ceiling and 5/8s drywall no less.

            DIY’er do use lots of 12′ drywall, not just for less seams to tape/mud/etc, but their ability to straighten walls with twisted, warped, uneven studs/joists, yes even 5/8s thick, 12′ drywall on the walls.

            With shims, works wonders!

            Even the most anal and efficient “Pros” are constantly scrambling to The Home Depot, etc to fetch materials in a pinch.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    So this is basically a Ridgeline, which sells in pretty modest numbers as it is but, but with VW reliability instead of Honda reliability. Well where do I sign up!!!


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