VW's Pickup Concept Won't Hit U.S. Roads

GTI Amorak II

By Larry Edsall

Call it the Worthersee concept, the Power Pickup or the Uber Amarok, the concept truck recently debuted in Austria by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles group shows that good things can come in smaller packages.

It doesn't matter what Americans call it, however. That's because Volkswagen of America has no plans to bring the Amarok pickup truck — in production or concept guise — to the U.S. market.

However, there have been published reports that, like our neighbors to the south, our neighbors to the north may be getting VW's pickup. That report, on autoblog.com, also says that the Amarok has proven so popular that VW will produce the pint-sized pickup in its commercial vehicle plant in Austria. So far an assembly plant in Argentina has been producing the pickup, which is sold in South and Central America, Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Amarok, an Inuit word for wolf, is produced in two- and four-door versions. The new concept vehicle uses the standard cab but with fender flares to make room for 22-inch rims.

But while the wheel/tire package is enlarged, the ride is lowered — by more than 3 inches.

That's all the better for putting to the ground the grunt provided by a 272-horsepower, turbo-diesel 3.0-liter V-6, and this no wimpy engine — it pumps out 442 pounds-feet of torque.

That power flows through an eight-speed automatic transmission to a full-time all-wheel drivetrain, all of which means the truck can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds, VW claims.

VW notes that this is "not bad" for a vehicle whose cargo area measures 37.67 square feet. In the case of the Amarok concept, that's enough room for a go-kart racer to sit atop boxes holding all the replacement parts, tools and gear needed for a race weekend.

Enhancing the concept's exterior are a new front panel with bi-xenon headlamps with chrome inserts behind clear glass; a matt-black, chrome-trimmed radiator grille and three larger air intakes beneath the front bumper; carbon-fiber sill extensions; gun-metal wheels wrapped with 295/35-aspect rubber; a styling bar behind the passenger compartment; a carbon-fiber rear diffuser to dual tailpipes; smoked rear lamps; and a special LED array that provides what VW terms "a very unique night graphic."

The interior mimics GTI styling with a black-red-white color scheme and folding bucket seats, a sport steering wheel and widened center console. The seat trim is carbon fiber, and the leather is black nubuck with red stitching. The interior trim is brushed aluminum. The instrument panel includes a gauge for timing zero-to-60 sprints.

For those times when you want to hear something other than the exhaust note, the concept has an 8-inch touch-screen display to control an audio system that includes cooled direct-mode amplifiers and a 500-watt subwoofer.

The concept was unveiled at the recent Worthersee 2013, otherwise known as the 32nd GTI Meet, an annual event that attracts nearly 200,000 VW enthusiasts to the shores of Austria's Lake Worthersee.

GTI Amorak 2 II

Comments

@Denverspin,
You are showing almost total ignorance. Come back and discuss when you have an inkling of the European scene and what I posted.

@Denverspin - Yawn..........zzzzzzzzzzzz......... Oh did you say something?
My Alzheimer's interferes with comprehending scattered thought. Now where did Denver leave that chicken tax?
Oh, I remember...

NAFTA covers what is exempt, the chicken tax applies to imports from Mexico unless you happen to be included in exemptions like Ford, GMC or Chrysler.
Even if they could build in Mexico, it still costs big money to build.

Why don't they ship them to the USA from Argentina or Europe?

Oh, that pesky Chicken tax once again.

Canadian emissions and safety rules are similar to USA rules, the only difference is metric speedometers and daytime running lights. Most companies will not import a "Canada only" product due to the small size of the market. The USA still casts a huge shadow over North America and Canada has its own stupid trade barriers.

You still haven't proven how easy it is for companies to circumvent the Chicken Tax in relation to pickups.

The only examples of circumvention involve vans.

Yawn, I eagerly wait your reply..........

@Lou--Bravo! Good one.

@Lou - You're all over the place and babbling INCOHERENTLY! Why don't you save what ever shred of dignity you still may have and scamper off like the Rob Ryan and BaFo twins always do???

"NAFTA covers what is exempt, the chicken tax applies to imports from Mexico unless you happen to be included in exemptions like Ford, GMC or Chrysler."

What the heck does that cluster of incomplete thoughts even mean?? The Chicken tax does NOT apply to any truck from ANY OEM made in Mexico or Canada. Is that what you're asking? OK then, why does the US 2.5% tariff on import cars, NOT apply to Mexican 'hecho'd' VW cars? And somehow the Chicken tax WOULD apply to a Mexico built VW truck???

Your 'tracking' is off, WAY OFF!

If Canadian emissions and safety laws are the same as US, then so is the Chicken tax. That contradicts your's and VW's claims about "US barriers".. Drrrr...
So if these 3 'barriers' don't stand in the way of this VW trucklet in Canada, what's so different about the US and Canada that would impact the trucklet so differently??

Obvously I'm right about the way the US consumers and fleet use/buy/dispose of the lowest common denominator of trucks. And how US trucks cap compact/mid-size truck prices below full-size trucks.

One difference about the USA vs Canada is the way your tax code favours regular cabs, AND the Tacoma, (the last standing mid-size, regular cab), is NOT available in Canada.. What? Yes, this VW trucklet would HAVE to be Hit in Canada, relatively speaking. VW could force a TDI, sunroof, Nav, leather, etc. I mean, since it WOULD be cannibalizing the Golf, Jetta, Passat, Beetle, wagens, it wouldn't also be severely undercutting their prices too, and what would be the point of THAT??

And VW won't or cannot come CLOSE to selling the magical "100,000 units" in Canada anyways.

A "Complete Knock Down" kit or CKD is how the millions of import mini-trucks from the '80s craze/fad/invasion came to be. The Mercedes/Freightliner Spirit van currently exploits the CKD loophole. Now CKDs are nothing new to VW and no big deal. Assembling cars is something VW is good at.. And VW currently sells cars in India by way of CKDs!

¡¡¡Thank's for playing!!!

If VW does decide to make the Amarok available in the US I would only be interested in it if the renamed it the VW Cannibal and then I would request that the loaded model be named the Hannibal Lecter model which would be a sheep in wolf's clothing.

@DenverMike - bwhahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa

Dude.................really..................?

The chicken tax covers imported pickups and vans unless they are exempt. NAFTA allows exemptions to that rule for pickups from Mexico or Canada.
How hard is that to comprehend?

If VW built a Amarok factory in Mexico, they probably could drop that 100,000 magic number down to 60,000 due to reduced labour costs but why would they do that?
They already have a factory in Argentina making the truck for the "America's" (Excluding USA and Canada).
Regardless of whether they build in Mexico or USA, they need a minimum number to turn a profit.

The chicken tax keeps trucks out, why build 2 factories unless they can make money at it?
VW, after all, is globally #3 in sales and is vastly superior to GMC and Chrysler when it comes to profitability.

I've already said multiple times that I agree that the small truck market has shank due to competition from small SUV's, mid sized SUV's, full sized pickups, lack of upgrades or competitive models in the small truck ranks, changes in preferences...............
The big difference is that the chicken tax is also a factor - you say no, but still have not provided any proof.

Canada has similar rules to the USA when it comes to emissions and safety because where do most of the vehicles in Canada come from?
Where do most Canadian vehicle exports go?
It doesn't take a PHD or a tow truck licence to figure that one out.

Canada does not have the Chicken tax, where did that one come from?

Homologation with Canadian emission rules and deciding as to whether or not it would be profitable are the only 2 hurdles for importation into Canada. We already pay more money for a pickup in Canada so that would yield a more attractive profit margin than selling to cheapskates who drive tow trucks.
If one converts pesos to Canadian dollars, a Mexican Amarok double cab diesel is 43,000 which puts it on par with a Canadian double cab gasser Tacoma. The regular cab Amarok converts to 23,000. A Tacoma Access cab is around 23,000.
Toyota Tacoma would be VW's main competitor and price wise would be in the ball park.

The 100,000 to be profitable is IF a BUILD a factory. Your tow truck got an exhaust leak into the cab?
VW would IMPORT into Canada. As in come from outside the country (The country of discussion is Canada since I don't want to cause you any more confusion).

I didn't know that my "dignity" was being rated but since I'm being critiqued by a guy who publicly states he likes mutts, Costco sized women and fast food, I'm not going to take any of those kind of comments too seriously.

Thanks for playing er providing comic relief.

@Jeff S - BAZINGA!

As much as I love smaller diesel pickup trucks, it doesn't really bother me that much that the Amarok won't be coming to NA because its diesel engine uses a timing belt instead of a timing chain or timing gear.

@Lou - The more you talk, the less sense you make. Quit while you're BEHIND◄◄◄

"The chicken tax covers imported pickups and vans unless they are exempt."

Let's 1st be clear, There's no absolutely no distinction of what specific OEMs and models are "exempt" from the Chicken tax, except they must be assembled (at least partly with a CKD) in the NAFTA zone. Or imported with seats etc.

#2) You're not talking a lot, but you're not saying anything! It's like I saying: "You're subject to a road tax, unless you're exempt from road taxes..."???

"NAFTA allows exemptions to that rule for pickups from Mexico or Canada."

Same as #2. And NAFTA *IS* the "exception", as well as the "rule".

"If VW built a Amarok factory in Mexico, they probably could drop that 100,000 magic number down to 60,000 due to reduced labour costs but why would they do that?

Who said the plan wouldn't be to build them in Mexico, all along? Even 60,000 assumes a lot of things. Like strong demand. If not, hard loaded too. Actually, Canadians don't NOT buy 60,000 of too many things. Tacoma sales are under
20,000 annually in all of Canada.

http://bestsellingcarsblog.com/2011/10/29/canada-september-2011-honda-civic-reclaims-passenger-cars-1-spot/

"They already have a factory in Argentina making the truck for the "America's" (Excluding USA and Canada)."

Why is it *worthwhile* to build VW autos in "Mexico"? Think hard...

"The chicken tax keeps trucks out..."

The Chicken tax is only a small hurdle for trucks. Trucks that are actually *in demand*, AND would be a worthwhile venture.
Yeah, nothing comes for FREE in the US, but it's no different than the small 2.5% tariff (or Mexico build) or CKD (yes, for cars too) on import cars.

"...why build 2 factories unless they can make money at it?"

You answered your own question... It would be redundant to have a 2nd factory in Mexico, when actually, a single 'trucklet' plant in Puebla, Mexico could supply ALL of the "Americas"... That's if, IF, it could be profitable in the US/Canada.

"... the small truck market has shank due to (many reasons)... The big difference is that the chicken tax is also a factor - you say no, but still have not provided any proof."

Why haven't sales of Japaneses autos (the desirable ones), and other (in demand, not Peugeot/Renault/MG/Fiat) offshore OEMs declined in the same time period since the mini-truck craze/fad/invasion??? The US tariff on these import cars hasn't gone away and the Chicken tax hasn't increased since the mini-truck craze/fad/invasion...
Show proof otherwise. You're the one with the ridiculous claims and want me to disprove them????????? I say Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster definitely do exist. Can you "Prove" they don't? Exactly!!!

Fads don't last forever, so why do you assume the death of the whole mini-truck craze/fad/invasions was a conspiracy? I do agree the CIA killed MySpace...

@Lou - continued -

"Canada has similar rules to the USA when it comes to emissions and safety because where do most of the vehicles in Canada come from?"

Mine was a rhetorical question.

"Canada does not have the Chicken tax, where did that one come from?"

If so, why wouldn't VW import trucks straight from Argentina then? And where are all the global pickups in Canada? Is it that nobody wants them there either? If the Chicken tax is truly a "barrier" for global trucks, what's keeping them out of Canada???

"Homologation with Canadian emission rules and deciding as to whether or not it would be profitable are the only 2 hurdles for importation into Canada. We already pay more money for a pickup in Canada so that would yield a more attractive profit margin than selling to cheapskates who drive tow trucks."

That's like too bad niche, low volume cars in Canada. Good luck getting them. But it's no different for any niche vehicle *without* a decent profit margin to begin with. Importing to other 1st world countries is (price vs profit) prohibitive.

Imagine low volume, niche cars just from England alone, trying to survive outside their FTA zone. Or any foreign, 1st world nation. Consider the AC, Ariel, Ascari, Berkeley, BAC, Bristol, Brook, Caparo, Caterham and Connaught. Those are just A thru C, OEMs and currently for sale in England.

I'll give you that the Chicken tax doesn't apply to Canada, but you'd think the truck market there would be totally different than the US and every global mid-size & compact truck would be represented there. No? What gives then???

And what is Canada's import duty on cars and trucks?

"If one converts pesos to Canadian dollars, a Mexican Amarok double cab diesel is 43,000 which puts it on par with a Canadian double cab gasser Tacoma. The regular cab Amarok converts to 23,000. A Tacoma Access cab is around 23,000."

The Mexican Amarok diesel double cab converts to 25,500 to 46,000 in US dollars. The double cab Tacoma ranges from 22,500 to 28,000. That's a 'no sell' in the US too. The Mexican Amarok regular cab would also be priced about as much as a regular cab Tocoma Access cab or a base Ram 1500.

By the time the Amarok's price is adjusted for existing US and Canada truck prices, there would be little to no profits. Deal breaker or not?

I don't know how well the Amarok sells in Mexico and South America, but Canada would be a nonstarter, same as the US, with or without Chicken taxation.

Obviously I'm right about the whole "mini-truck craze/fad/trend" if Canadians buying patterns are just like American (USA) consumers'........ EVEN WITHOUT all these USA "trade barriers" and "full-size protectionism" in Canada.

Keep talking. You're proving ALL my points for me!

@Denverspin - Where do I start...........
I'll start with this one:

"Show proof otherwise. You're the one with the ridiculous claims and want me to disprove them????????? I say Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster definitely do exist. Can you "Prove" they don't? Exactly!!!"

Thank you for finally admitting that you're stance on the chicken tax exists solely because it is just as hard to disprove as to prove.

Next point -
Huge assumption:
"Obviously I'm right about the whole "mini-truck craze/fad/trend" if Canadians buying patterns are just like American (USA) consumers'........ EVEN WITHOUT all these USA "trade barriers" and "full-size protectionism" in Canada."

You have an "if" in the middle of all that...............

That puts your whole premise back in the realm of carbon monoxide poisoning induced hallucinations......................................
or as you already have stated " I say Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster definitely do exist. Can you "Prove" they don't? Exactly!!!"

The Canadian market is different enough but is heavily influenced by the 800 pound gorilla in the neighbouring yard.

I got to go now, my "sundown syndrome" (Alzheimer's symptom) is kicking in.

Better luck next time........... and thanks.

I feel so much better now.

@Lou - That's hilarious and whatnot, but I guess we're no longer discussing trucks?? Let me know when you have any 'truck' material in your 'stand up' routine...

I posted proof of the chicken tax killing imports from 2 sources and it never made it/got deleted....

WTF?

Lets try this again.........

Proof #1.

"Refreshing honesty comes from a surprising camp. Four dozen democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to President Barak Obama, warning against a free trade agreement with Japan. The alleged closed market found only passing mention. The lawmakers don’t worry about exports to Japan. They are worried about imports from Japan. Says the letter:
“In an industry with razor-thin profit margins, the elimination of the 2.5 percent car tariff (as well as the 25 percent truck tariff) would be a major benefit to Japan without any gain for a vital American industry, leading to more Japanese imports, less American production and fewer American jobs.”
What Detroit is REALLY worried about is a fall of the Chicken Tax. Detroit has a near monopoly on trucks, which drive its profits.
There is one part about free trade agreements automakers the world over love: A harmonization of standards. Biegun said that the cost of designing and producing according to separate EU and U.S. safety standards was between $3 billion and $6 billion, different environmental rules added a cost of $1.5-2 billion."
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/why-detroit-is-chicken-about-free-trade-agreements-and-why-korea-hates-them-too-now/#more-481627

Proof #2

American University International Law Review
Volume 10 | Issue 3 Article

In 1980, the United States "applied" the "chicken tax" tariff to imported Japanese trucks and cab chassis, which then became subject to a 25% tariff rate. In 1984, the Japanese automobile industry challenged the United States classification of lightweight trucks and cab chassis as finished trucks because the new classification significantly increased the tariffs on Japanese imported lightweight trucks and cab chassis.' The
Court of International Trade upheld the cab chassis classification and the 25% tariff and the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the decision.' Once again, the cost to consumers was dramatic: over the next three years, this tariff led to more than a 23% increase in imported
truck prices while the price of American-made compact trucks increased by 29%." Ironically, the Japanese auto industry remains the principal target of this tariff despite the chicken tariff's rather limited purpose and even though Japan imports more United States poultry products than any other country."

@DenverMike -
In 1980, the chassis cab loophole was closed. The mini-truck "fad" died because there was a 23% increase in price on imported small trucks.
The "domestics" read Ford, GMC, Chrysler chose to rape the consumer by increasing their prices on their own small trucks by 29%.

"What Detroit is REALLY worried about is a fall of the Chicken Tax. Detroit has a near monopoly on trucks, which drive its profits."

There are other factors affecting the small truck market like preferences and competition, but a 23-29% increase in costs puts small trucks within the domain of large truck prices.

You've said that technical barriers to trade are insignificant. When I say "technical barriers", I'm referring to different emission and safety rules among countries.

"Biegun said that the cost of designing and producing according to separate EU and U.S. safety standards was between $3 billion and $6 billion, different environmental rules added a cost of $1.5-2 billion."

Ironic, when you say "stand up" routine, my routine has a leg to stand on.

@DlM aka Denverd;;;ickhead

You are a goose.

Really mate?

You are the most full of ...s..h..i..t person on this site.

3 litre V6 diesel VW Pickup will be a greqt êrformer.

You are a pq, work that one out. You should have no problem, considering you have been to Espange 36 times and think there is a full size pickup market in Europe. And BMW made the M Series to counter SVO Mustangs. Simpleton.

You are a real joke.

Sorry to all of the other contributors.

I am happy to see incontrovertible proof of my previous arguments. Compact trucks are only a "fad" in the eyes of those who do not want them.

@Vulpine - if there was an easy way to circumvent the Chicken Tax, we would of seen it by now.
The "American University International Law Review" article was penned in 1995. That is 15 years after the closure of the "chassis cab" loophole.
The TTAC story involving the "letter to Obama" was penned March 18, 2013.
That would be 33 years after the "chassis cab" loophole was closed.

The Chicken Tax has had consequences for Canada since most of our vehicles come from the USA. Our market being 10 times smaller means we suffer the ills of the USA auto industry. If we were separate like Australia, there would be a business case to import "globals". VW may still import the Amarok. The Canadian government has been courting VW and has incentives in place to encourage factories in Canada. There are negotiations currently going on with the European Union and with the "America's". That could open the door to imports from those countries.
I think that part of the reason why there isn't many articles about the Chicken Tax is because automotive journalists don't want to bite the hand that feeds them. They all rely on corporate press fleets for their tests/evaluations. Why be critical of "Detroit" when you rely on them indirectly for your pay cheque.

@Lou - By now, I'm sure you've had time to finish reading your own links, and comprehend the facts in front of you. Go ahead and apologize now, and save everyone the bandwidth.. I'm driving now and don't have time look up sources. That should buy you some time...

Reading is FUNDAMENTAL!!!

@DenverMike - I suspected that you were not debating in good faith, therefore from now on, any commentary from you in regard to this topic will be viewed by myself as nothing more (or less) than trolling.

On this Memorial Day weekend, remember those who died serving the country you live in and have given you the rights you chose to abuse.

Instead of thinking for himself and using facts and logic Lou had decided to join in with the trolls and use stereotypes, jokes and trolling techniques so he can be liked by the anti Americans and mid size alliances. However, it is backfiring because the more he posts, the more he puts out false information and comes off as wrong and like a troll. If Lou has any dignity left he would step back and say what I'm doing here is not working, I've hooked up with the wrong people, and is not benefitting anyone or myself.

It's just not me who is saying this. Many others are calling Lou a troll lately. If this is not what you want to be known for, rethink what you are posting and who you are aligning yourself with.

@Lou - The 1st thing you got wrong is your link was talking about Japanese autos that went up in price about 23%, not trucks. In 1981, and under pressure from the Reagan Admin, Japan voluntarily agreed (VRA) to limit auto exports to the US to only 1.65 million cars. Japan quickly doubled down on pickup truck exports since they were never part of the "agreement".

The VRA/limit set the stage for the whole mini-truck craze/fad/invasion with Japan strategically dumping cheap pickups on the US by the 100,000s.
It was perfect timing too. We were done with the muscle cars, custom/molester van and land yachts "fads", all of which were gas sucking pigs. And at a time, the whole Oil Embargo was still fresh on our minds and mini-trucks were obviously cheap and gas sippers on top of the latest "fad".

By 1984, Chevy's S10 base price was $6,993 and Nissan's pickup was $5,634. Then by the mid to late '80s, Japanese OEMs had a handle on building cars in the US and luxo brands were taking hold. There was no reason to keep dumping cheap, less profitable pickups on US consumers, including their own buyers.

Japan also made the best of that export 'cap' by inventing luxury brands to export. Acura, Lexus, Infiniti, and tarted up 626s and Diamantes.

The approx 23% price hike in Japanese autos, after '81 was caused by them then being built in the US from about 25% US content in parts. This cut profit margins by around $1,000 per car. Some import dealers were charging up to $2,000 over MSRP on some cars. Domestic dealers joined in the price gouging, but so did European brands. It's a good thing they did, just for the sake of normalizing Japanese car (selling) prices.

The "chassis cab" loophole ended in Jan, 1980, but what did that change? Yes import trucks became subject to the 25% tariff, but same as always. The Chicken tax wasn't in 'question' for trucks. The question was whether to hit 2-door SUVs with it. The Pathfinder, 4Runner, and others quickly found '4-doors', before it became an issue.

Then the SUV craze when absolute nutz... Sport cars and sporty 2+2s came back with avengeance too. With a few compact 2-seaters thrown in. Convertibles also came back from a deep hibernation.

If there's any cause for 'worrying' from 'the end' of the Chicken tax, it would be from all OEMs that sell compact to mid-size cars and SUV, crossovers and wagens. Trucks from VW, GW, Proton, Isuzu and such, wouldn't really be in direct competition with full-size trucks. And they still have to meet DOT standards and of course, sell in quantities deemed profitable.. Even with zero tariffs. There's more cause for 'worrying' from those Tundra/Titans if not Tacomas/Frontiers. Might as well "worry" about that Chevy Colorado too!

Btw, My dad bought a new Nissan Hard Body stripper for under $6,000 w/ rebates, in '88. When it comes to "fads", he's always late to the party.

I still owe you the sources, but I always make 'good'. There's a heap of them.

@DenverMike, Lou just went full retard. Never go full retard.

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those trolls just won't let up, funny, real funny.

How would anyone be able to "import" a small work truck, when the domestics manuf. a fine full size 6' or 8' reg cab/ext cab W/T for well under 20K-25K out the door? (with insentives I see around here), I just can't see it, not in the #'s they say they would need too anyway, maybe a small sport truck type with either awd or 4wd and maybe even fwd? but even that would be a hard sell with Ram selling the Express trucks for what they do, when you come down to it, these "trucks" they are talking about are just toys anyway, as for me? I think I will just keep my 10yrs old Dakota reg cab 4x4 till the wheels fall off, and with not one spot of rust anywhere, and I even took the bed liner out, thinking there could be rust under there? nope, only bare metal where the liner rubbed the paint off, so I just used an after market at home liner I rolled on, and then put the liner back in, and only 80K on it, it will last me a long time!

@sandman4X4 - part of the whole picture in relation to the contracture of the small truck market is competition from large trucks. Small trucks have too much price overlap and they don't have the features,or performance of a larger truck. The closure of the chassis cab loophole in the chicken tax in 1980 caused a 23% increase in import truck prices and domestics increased their prices 29%. That is significant. I'm sure that there would be more small trucks around if they 13,000 dollars as opposed to 17,000. I've always said that the issues affecting the small truck market is multifactorial. The chicken tax is a major factor in the whole equation.

@Lou - The 1st thing you got wrong is your 'link' was talking about Japanese cars that went up in price, about 23%, not trucks. In 1981, and under pressure from the Reagan Admin, Japan voluntarily agreed (VRA) to limit car exports to the US to only 1.65 million cars. Japanese OEMs quickly doubled down on pickup truck exports since they were never part of the "agreement".

The VRA/limit set the stage for the whole mini-truck craze/fad/invasion with Japan strategically dumping cheap pickups on the US by the 100,000s.
It was perfect timing too. We were done with the muscle cars, custom/molester van and land yachts "fads", all of which were gas sucking pigs. And at a time, the whole Oil Embargo was still fresh on our minds and mini-trucks were obviously cheap and gas sippers on top of the latest "fad".

Japan also made the best of that export 'quota' by inventing luxury brands to export. Acura, Lexus, Infiniti, and tarted up 929s and Diamantes.

By 1984, Chevy's S10 base price was $6,993 and Nissan's pickup was $5,634. Then by the mid to late '80s, Japanese OEMs had a handle on building cars in the US and luxo brands were taking hold. There was no reason to keep dumping cheap, less profitable pickups on US consumers, including their own car buyers.

The approx 23% price hike in Japanese cars, after '81 was caused by them being built in the US from about 25% US parts content. This cut profit margins by around $1,000 per car. Some import dealers were charging up to $2,000 over MSRP on some cars. Domestic dealers joined in the price gouging, but so did European brands. It's a good thing they did, just for the sake of normalizing Japanese car (selling) prices.

The "chassis cab" loophole ended in Jan, 1980, but what did that change? Yes import trucks became subject to the 25% tariff, but same as always. The Chicken tax wasn't in 'question' for trucks. The question was whether to hit 2-door SUVs with it. The Pathfinder, 4Runner, and others quickly found '4-doors', before it became an issue.

Then the SUV craze when absolute nutz... Sport cars, pony cars and sporty 2+2s came back with avengeance too. With a few compact 2-seaters thrown in. Convertibles also came back from a deep hibernation.

If there's any cause for 'worrying' from 'the end' of the Chicken tax, it would be from all OEMs that sell compact to mid-size cars and SUV, crossovers and wagens. Trucks from VW, GW, Proton, Isuzu and such, wouldn't really be in direct competition with full-size trucks. And they still have to meet DOT standards and of course, sell in quantities deemed profitable.. Even with zero tariffs. There's more cause for 'worrying' from those Tundra/Titans if not Tacomas/Frontiers. Might as well "worry" about that Chevy Colorado too!

Btw, my dad bought a new Nissan Hard Body stripper for under $6,000 w/ rebates, in '88. When it comes to "fads", he's always late to the party.

I still owe you the sources, but I always make 'good'. There's a heap of them.

Damn you VW. Their latest TDI engines just rock.

But no pickup! Just for that, out goes another angry e-mail to them and a promise to buy a Ford Fusion Hybrid and not a Jetta TDI for the new commuter car.

Like VW cares. Wimps.

Thanks for agreeing with me Lou.

@Lou - This quote is from your link:

"While the US agreed to reduce its tariff rate on motor vehicles for the transport of persons to a 2.5% rate during the Tokyo Round negotiations, the US bound the tariff rate for multi-purpose (MPV) vehicles at the higher 25%..."

You're totally confused and took that to mean import "trucks" or pickups when the subject was import SUVs and mini-vans:

"One of the most contentious issues in international trade law today is whether the reclassification of multi-purpose vehicles—including 2-door and 4-door SUVs and minivans—constitutes..."

Nowhere does it mention imported "trucks". Complete waste of time. Reading is fundamental.

"...asserting that and increase in tariffs would lead to a similar result as the voluntary restraint agreement (VRA) of the early '80s, namely the dramatic increase in the price of imported vehicles. In '84, Japanese cars sold for 22.6% more that they would have without the qoutas (or limit of cars)"

http://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1443&context=auilr&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.ca%2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3Dlegal%2520name%2520for%2520chicken%2520tax%2520truck%2520tariff%26source%3Dweb%26cd%3D11%26cad%3Drja%26ved%3D0CCoQFjAAOAo%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fdigitalcommons.wcl.american.edu%252Fcgi%252Fviewcontent.cgi%253Farticle%253D1443%2526context%253Dauilr%26ei%3DUB2gUcDXHuPHiwKsoIGgDQ%26usg%3DAFQjCNGHpFAhwNIw3DJJkctQQT3NEFpBoQ%26bvm%3Dbv.47008514%2Cd.cGE#search=%22legal%20name%20chicken%20tax%20truck%20tariff%22

These next quotes are from:

http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071029/ANA03/710290340#axzz2UPeqVL9Q

"In 1981, Japan bowed to pressure from the United States and signed on to what was inaccurately known as a Voluntary Restraint Agreement. In a move that was by no means voluntary, Japanese carmakers' exports were capped by a series of annual "quotas", starting in 1982."

"The (Japanese) carmakers, meanwhile, dealt with the quotas (cap) in an economically rational manner. If they couldn't raise their volumes, they would raise their profits on every unit they sold. They filled as much of their quotas as they could with their top-of-the-line models and piled on the expensive factory options."

"That pushed up the prices of Japanese cars during the 1980s. Some U.S. dealers charged as much as a $2,000 premium (29%) for a $7,000 Toyota."

"Since the (VRA) restraints ONLY COVERED CARS, Japanese automakers responded by selling trucks by the hundreds of thousands. It also prompted most of the Japanese companies to build factories in America."

This link gives you a good idea of prices in the '80s. Like the '84 S10 @ $6,993 and the '84 Nissan pickup @ $5,634:

http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/80scars.html

@sandman4X4 - there is the odd time that I don't agree but you've always been a straight shooter and I respect that.

@David
As a self confessed Europhile you are incorrect in assuming that the Europeans want twin cabs and single cabs pickups

In France it does appear that most pickups are King Cab/Extra Cabs. Actually 50%.

I do see more Mercedes/VW/Iveco/Renault/Nissans 2-3 tonne FWD control trucks and vans. They even have triple cab Iveco's with 8 foot beds on the back.

The engines are on average the smaller diesels in the range that we have in Australia.

@DlM aka(DenverRetard)
I just went to Spain, into Navarre country. The Basque cuisine was fantastic. You would have undoubtedly had Basque food since you have been to Spain so many times.

Those quaint Basque villages need some full size trucks. Maybe with your limitless automotive knowledge and supposed ability to speak Espanol you can set up a pickup truck business :-)

Maybe a ute could be named after Navarre. Or as you would assume the region was named after a ute.

@Lou
Don't worry about the above mentioned personalityless. His birth was a gift from god to make the rest of us feel fortunate.

Move over Ford, Chevy, Chrysler, Toyota, and Nissan, if Amarok comes to U S they will dominate in small truck and suv daily drivers. I have driven these trucks , they get great mpg, 38 plus and can do as much work or more than full size pick-up. Very strong truck for its size. BRING IT OWN VW

BS... Honda builds and sells ridgelines in the US and not that many a year. Still people buy them. An all wheel drive truck powered by a diesel engine that would get over 30mpg and is mid sized would kick the crap out of the Honda and push Nissan out of the mid-size market. Doesn't matter as Dodge will have a v-6 Diesel 1500 RAM out soon.

I don't need a truck. If a four door short box one is available in US, I would consider it.

Another finally crafted vehicle, one with actual thought put into it, not like the domestic crap that you see on the used car lot after one or two years, I wonder.

I just saw a VW Amarock with dealer plate on it in front of me today in Austin TX, snapped a photo of it while it was stopped in front of me at a traffic light

I just saw one one the road yesterday here in Austin TX, snapped a pic of it when it was in front of me at a traffic light. Had dealer plates, registration expires in Oct so maybe been on the road for a year?

i just saw this truck on sunday sept. 22, 2013 in Coronado Calif.
i was walking the dog and had no way to catch up. or i would
have.

@Dennis - they are available in Mexico.

I believe that the VW Amarok would be an excellent small size pick-up truck alternative to the American and Japanese designed fuel hogs which currently populate the US highways. The 2.0 biturbo diesel would provide more than enough power with superior fuel economy to boot for its class! Most large trucks are tied to equally large over stated egos when the smaller truck alternative would be more suited to actual need. But, if you have money to burn the have at it and buy what you want, just don't spoil it for the rest of us! As far as VW reliability...my experience with them has been golden, but I maintain my vehicles adhering to scheduled maintenance plan an also proactively have issues addressed before they become critical failures. My dealer's maintenance department is excellent.

Geez Louise, all I want - and actually need - is a small pickup truck. Something that's AWD and diesel. Really not a lot to ask.

I would buy one today! If available?

Love it 3.0 v6 deisel please bring it here



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