The Amarok Would Have to Sell 100,000 Units to Come to the U.S.

Volkswagen Amarok

There’s been continued chatter about whether or not the new Volkswagen Amarok midsize pickup for overseas markets might make it to these shores. Now, Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of the Volkswagen Group of America, has quantified how many units the company would have to sell to make it worthwhile.

“We’d have to sell at least 100,000 Amarok pickups to make it feasible,” said Jacoby.

That makes the Amarok (which we've driven in Argentina) a very unlikely candidate for the neglected U.S. small truck market. Only the Toyota Tacoma is able to sell that kind of volume. Through November, 102,327 Tacomas have been sold. The next closest compact pickup by sales volume, the Ford Ranger, has sold only 51,097 units year-to-date.

Jacoby also cited the challenges facing the small truck segment and VW to break into the U.S. truck market.

“The compact pickup segment is declining,” said Jacoby. “Consumers are going to big pickups, which is a very traditional conservative segment. A lot of our competitors have burned their fingers in it as late entries.”

Jacoby said VW is also stymied by the location of its dealers, many of which are located far from the suburban and rural locations where trucks are popular. The so-called ‘Chicken Tax,’ which adds a 25% tariff to pickups manufactured in most countries outside the U.S., is also another hurdle. The Amarok is build at a VW plant in Argentina.

“Before we could bring [the Amarok] here we’d have to do a lot of homework,” said Jacoby. “But we have other vehicles to bring into this market first. Once we do that, we can talk about the Amarok.”

Comments

With the impending deal with Suzuki, VW could make this work by replacing the Nissan Frontier as the basis for the Equator with the Amarok. The chances then of hitting 100,000 in sales increase significantly. Bringing the diesel versions will also boost sales. There are many of us who would purchase a diesel small/midsize truck that currently drive toyotas, Nissans, Chevys and Fords that are too wussy to bring diesels here. The Mahindra would make a great work truck but not the kind of truck I would use for running around with my family. Wake up VW; you can't become the number one auto company in the world without taking some risks and selling more worldwide platform built products.

That's irony Germany sticking it to US grown chicken years ago thus leading to the "Chicken Tax" and now its biting them in the ass again actually all of us who want a good compact truck IMO , the very reason that only full size trucks sell in the volumes that they do in the USA is they have a 25% price advantage to imported trucks if it wasn't for that tax perhaps we could get compact fuel efficient trucks here again instead of the land barges we have here now .

I think mid size is declining because they cost nearly as much as full size. They need to stop making all pickups like caddilacs and at least offer some models with rubber floors and such. I know this isn't anything you all don't know, but it pisses me off that they refuse to look at why the midsize market is declining. I loved the Dakota I had many years ago until EVERYTHING in the interior either stopped working or worked incorrectly.

I find it highly unlikely that the US government would kill the "chicken tax". If they did, I'd bet that within a few short years there would be very few trucks made in the USA. It would be a boom for Mexico, China, South America, India ect. The only way the US auto industry could survive without the "chicken tax" is if the UAW would agree to massive wage and benefit (especially pension) roll backs. A few years ago a financial expert refered to Ford, Dodge, GMC as Pension Trusts masquerading as Car companies. I don't blame VW for being cautious as Toyota and Nissan have fallen on their faces in the very conservative truck market.
The Mahindra truck will be subject to the chicken tax as well. Mind you, the Mahindra truck would probably appeal to a much different segment of the market than the Amarok.

Just too much money to spend for a few more MPG and less of everything else. I and my company have owned small and large trucks and the economy is just not there for less space, comfort and safety. When they sell smaller trucks with really better MPGs, safety and a true economical price they will sell. But the reward is just not there when you find out what you can get a full size truck for.

If it does make, I'd be concerned about support if there were a problem. View my VW experience at:
http://www.reesphotos.com/VW/

That's good info there Mike.

The funny thing is VW wants to start on the top without having to compete with other platforms. What do you know? What better time than now when there are no small diesel pickup options?

I agree with others here. Price would be a large factor. And knowing VW they would make them with few options, doll them up with uber upgrades, electronics, and ultimately price themselves out of the small pickup market.

They have no intentions of selling here anytime soon since they'd need to build a plant here to manufacture them.

I would have to want less room inside, less room in the bed, i would have to want less payload, less towing ability, less power, less torque, less comfort, less fun and I would have to want to spend more money... to think about buying one. I think I will pass.

You say that VW would have to 100,000 to come to the US but nothing was said about how great the car is and if its even worth being in the states. At least with cars like the Fiesta Ford in the UK we KNOW that it is a great car with 65mpg and the US cant have it. But what are we missing out on with the Amarok?

You can't put those fussy doodads, wheels and VW badge on and call it - a butch thing you haul, tow and get dirty in.

"You can't put those fussy doodads, wheels and VW badge on and call it - a butch thing you haul, tow and get dirty in."

Yes you can with other VW's :http://www.volkswagen-nutzfahrzeuge.de/etc/medialib/vwcms/virtualmaster/vwn_master/models/crafter.Par.0179.Image.jpg/cr0228.jpg

I'd love to see the Amarok sold in the US, but not if it means another $25K-$30K small truck....for lots of people, there's simply a value perception problem there. However, there are many folks, myself included, who are happy to pay a premium for a small pickup which is elegant, responsive, and refined...as long as it fits in the garage at night. There are surely other city-dwellers who would gravitate toward the image and utility of such a "premium" VW offering, I doubt there are 100,000 willing takers out there each year.

@gomjabber - So you're saying driving that dakota was like owning a modern VW right? Electrical gremlins are the bane of vw's existence.

An Amorok would be just like a tacoma, just like a frontier, just like a colorado. It would offer another choice on paper but offer the same features to the same group of buyers.. medium weight towing, hauling, pricey off road features, fuel mileage that is on par. Granted there would be a lot of vw customers who would finally be able to drive a truck....

Listening to the words of Jacoby belies what is underlying the data. No, us consumers are not giving up on the mid truck segment... the problem for us is that purchase price and operating-cost wise there is no real benefit to buying a loaded mid size when a base model full size can do the same if not more duty without breaking at the same price or less.

That being said, Jacoby is right not to bring the truck here. Unless you are going to reinvent the segment, introduce features not seen before then it won't sell. Here enters the Mahindra Navistar Appalachia(n). Mind blowing payload and fuel mileage durability of diesel engines and components from a tractor mfg. I can't even buy a 4cyl gas model that competes in just the fuel mileage category! That is truly unique and welcomed to this market. Truck users (not owners) who operate businesses that rely on small trucks have probably positioned themselves for a big buy in the near future. The gas price rise in 08 would have convinced them to hang on to their trusty steeds rather than risk a serious exposure to new vehicle payments and unaffordable fuel costs. Suddenly, a new type of vehicle appears. Durable, great mileage of 30+mpg, towing and hauling capacity that is out of this world. I think they will buy it.

Tim - Do some more research on the Amarok. If you dig into the specs for this vehicle, it has many of the same capabilities that you just touted for the Mahindra. The mileage and payload are virtually the same. I think that both trucks (VW and Mahindra) need to be sold here ASAP. I do think that the VW would actually sell better, even at a higher price point, due to the fact that consumers are already comfortable with VW and the company already enjoys a cult like following in the US. I would give an arm and a leg (well, half a leg) to be able to drive a capable, comfortable 30 MPG truck.
If you haven't already - people interested in the capable high MPG trucks of the future might want to check out GM's BNT at their website (http://thelab.gmblogs.com/bare-necessity-truck)

I would purchase this car. Right away. I live in the country. And, I have a Vanagon. I also have a 63 Ford Truck that I bought for $1600.00 in Newport Beach. Interestingly, I rarely use the big truck. I always fill the Vanagon. I liken the Amarok to the Vanagon. While some will use the Vanagon ALL the time, I have not, though it is 20 year old, in fantastic shape with 350 miles on it. Volkswagpns are incredible. Our Passat is a great Sedan, and the Bugster is a brilliant commuter. I would happily pay $25-30 K for the Amarok. Let's face it gang, VWs are just wonderful, especially wihen you catch that once in while style that is simply timeless. I think the Amarok is could transportation and I now, all we need is 99,999 more sold,
Peace

Correction, I think the Amarok is Good transporation and now all we need to do is sell 99,999 more,
Peace

I currently drive a 2011 toyota tundra but if the amarok come to USA i will trade for it I know a lot of people that's waitting and see if 1 day will happen !!!!!diesel over gas !!!!!1

i am so glad this internet thing works and your article really helped me.



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