VW Files for U.S. Trademark for Amarok Name

VWamarokV6 II

Volkswagen has taken the first step in protecting the name of its global pickup truck, the Amarok, for the U.S. marketplace by filing a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, presumably because it is preparing to eventually sell the mid-size pickup truck in the states.

According to Motrolix.com, the registration process started Nov. 22, 2017. No doubt VW is protecting itself here, making sure that no other company — automotive or otherwise — can claim the Amarok name before VW enters the potentially lucrative U.S. mid-size pickup market.

The mid-size pickup truck class has steadily grown during the last several years. Next to join the mix will be the 2019 Ford Ranger, set to debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week. Additionally, although not officially announced, we expect a new Nissan Frontier in the near future and possibly a U.S. Mercedes Benz X-Class, which will share a platform with the new Nissan.

How soon a VW Amarok will be sold in the U.S. is anyone's guess, but VW has proven itself quite capable in producing solid three-row SUVs: Both the Tiguan and Atlas won their respective Cars.com Challenges in 2017.

Although VW did not make an official announcement about the trademark application, it would need to get many issues in order before it could jump into the U.S. mid-size pickup market. Among them: It will need to produce the Amarok somewhere in North America in order to price it competitively, but that takes a huge investment, which may not be justifiable given the size of the mid-size market and the average transaction price for existing competitors. However, if those factors fall into place, the trademark puts VW in the perfect position for having a dramatic impact.

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Actually, the first thing VW needs to do is learn how to get out of its own way. With any luck they'll have some kind of pickup in North America by the time that driverless flying cars become popular.

I agree with Papajim about VW being its own worst enemy... VW should have launched the Amarok in the US when they first brought this truck to market. However, VW is a bit clueless at times, especially to the fact that the US is the biggest Pickup Truck market in the world. Talk about a day late and a dollar short???

When I visited Europe last decade, these VW trucks were basically re-badged Toyota's! I saw a few of them in Greece..

VW seems to be run by very desperate men.

Their market capitalization is huge, but their share price is under enormous pressure because nobody trusts the guys at the top. The diesel troubles they've had in Europe and the US are expected to cost north of $5 billion, using even the most optimistic scenarios.

They have some very gifted product-development people on board, but the guys in the suits are running off investors and employees at a frightening pace. Since 2015 their stock is in the crapper.

It would do VW some good to re-organize despite the expense. In the meantime, there are just too many solid alternatives to VW in the consumer marketplace, and on Wall Street, to pay them much attention at this time.

VW had mid sized pickups back in the nineties,they were basically a rebadged Toyota Hi-Lux.

This truck will take sales from the GM fleet if it ever makes it the US. Mainly because when a foreign company enters traditional US markets, US folks tend to go that route for better liability.


US folks tend to go that route for better liability
Posted by: crunchtime | Jan 9, 2018


Help us understand

RELIABILITY, sorry bad writing on my part.


On CR article from oct 2017, they show all outside the US autos have higher reliability and satisfaction than the US, which scores low compared to the rest. in the truck version, Ford does well and increased to average, where GM is still paced below average on those categories. I do not like to post links but will this time.


If Mercedes or BMW made a half ton, I wouldnt' even look at the Big 3.


@ Oxi, despite VW management woes, the VW Amarok is not a re-badged Toyota....

This truck will take sales from the GM fleet if it ever makes it the US. Mainly because when a foreign company enters traditional US markets, US folks tend to go that route for better liability.
Posted by: crunchtime | Jan 9, 2018 10:06:49 AM

Depends, Ford with their Ranger should beat VW to the US market. Given Fords history of poor reliability and endless recalls on newly introduced products, I suspect buyers will bypass Ford dealers and check out the new VW while on their way to purchase the more established and reliable GM mid size twin or Tacoma.

GMS, I doubt that very much, GM can't beat Toyota and there is a reason for that. If there are 2 foreign makers in the mix, GM will fall further down the list, simple. Remember they still are listed as below average on those 2 scales. I do appreciate your blind enthusiasm though.


This wont be relevant for LONG time... if ever.


I think it will be the full size sales that suffer when more mid size pick ups become available. The biggest loser in sales when the Ranger returns will be the F150, just like the mid size GM trucks are taking from the full size 1500's. From the reports I have heard from owners of the mid size twins, the truck has been good and reliable. The diesel is really becoming a popular option in these trucks, I am seeing a bunch around here.

I hope VW releases this truck in North America. Loyal VW owners will buy them, I doubt it will be any more popular than the Ridge line which has seen sales drop and not really hurting sales of American truck buyers.

I suppose its worth doing the paperwork just in case the Chicken tax ever goes away and the midsize market continues to grow- by the time this could be on market, the 3 current trucks will all be refreshed and the Ranger and Scrambler will be rolling out full tilt. Good luck.

I think it is more to with registering the name than anything else . Ford cannot use the Edge name in Australia as Toyota has a copyright on it.
A Indian or Chinese brand might turn up with a "Wolf" Pickup. VW can then sue them
@ Woodpud
That is correct but current Amarok has absolutely nothing to do with Toyota
@Oxi guess by that reasoning the current F150 is a rebadged Tundra?
@Mr Knowitall VW is interested in much bigger Trucks and has just increased their share in Navistar. Want to turn it into a EV based MDT distribution company
@ papajim VW has become the Global no 1 and is interested in pushing its influence in the US and China. US by takeover and China by increasing Electricification of it's products there

I would be pleased to see VW bring the Amarok to North America. It is a real truck with body on frame. The real challenge will be VW management not screwing things up. VW has had some hits and some real big misses in the US.
The appeal will go beyond VW loyalist. My guess if it happens - two years. VW is not terribly agile .

Amarok production starts at Puebla, Mexico plant in 2019 as 2020 model. VW Golf production moving from Puebla to Germany after an abbreviated 2019 model year run in Puebla. VW Beetle and Beetle Cabriolet are ending after 2018.

I'm skeptical of the ability of VW dealers to market to pickup truck demographic.

I doubt the like the Mercedes X-Class the Amarok will end up in the US. It is a all Diesel lineup and not once VW and MB have mentioned the US or Canada

@oxi - the Amarok isn't a rebadged Toyota.

This was news EVERY WHERE ****** FOUR****** DAYS AGO!

This site sucks.

They do that on purpose bc it is unimportant and VK is fooling around. Nobody cares about a trademark.

Truck trend is better...

TT is stuffy and boring and doesn't allow comments.

Also Truck Trend didn't report the Amarok trademark at all.

The Amarok will not see daylight in the US unless they are made in Mexico with global destinations. The Chicken Tax prevents their import into the US and the US market is currently to small to build an Amarok plant.

The Amarok is also expensive.

I don't envisage the X Class being built in the US either. The difference between the Navara and X Class might be big. The X Class is 3" wider, almost halfway between a Colorado and Silverado. The drivetrain, suspension and even chassis/body is different.

I would think there would be a better chance of the Alaskan pickup being made in the Frontier plant than the X Class.

The X Class has been reviewed and considered the best global at the moment in Front of the Amarok and Ranger.

Oxi, the Amarok has consistently out rated the Hilux in comparisons since 2010. In comparisons the Hilux normally is placed 4th or 5th. The only thing keeping the Hilux with current sales volumes are the Toyota fans.

As our pickup market in Australia increased Toyota's Hilux percentage has slipped. The Ranger is almost on par with the Hilux in sales. This has Taken Ford only 6 years to do.


No, VW's manufacturing capacity in the US is what's too small.

VW will need to get some big-boy pants if they want to compete in the US with trucks. VW is capable of building a decent half ton pickup, and/or they could partner with an existing brand like Jeep or RAM.

What's not needed is yet another "me-too" entrant into the mid size pickup market in North America.

VW's management needs to decide if they want to be a real player in North America or nibble around the edges. Presently they're making compact and mid size sedans in a completely saturated US market. Drop a sedan line and devote some freed-up capacity to pickups.

papajim- thats actually a good idea, you dont by chance work for them do you?


Looks like we have many that have not travelled outside of the U.S.

When I visited Greece last decade, the Amarok's were re-badged Toyota HiLux trucks!

You people need to get out more!

The US has created an artficial pickup mix, all due to the Chicken Tax. Without the Chicken Tax pickup manufacturers could and would import vehicles like the Amarok.

You seem look at numbers, bigger must mean better. In the Chicken Tax situation the market has been artificially hamstrung, distorted.

VW need lots of US volume up front, prior to building a plant. This hard, sort of like saying to a butger joint you can only start selling in the US if you open 10 000 burger outlets . How can a business start like that? This is hoe Detroit is offered unfair protection.

The risk to start producing the Amarok in the US is very high due to insufficient volume. So, this indicates under the current US picup manufacturing model, the US market is small unless 100 000 Amaroks a sold a year.

I'll explain it differently, dumb it down as I anticipate you'll find my above comment challenging.

1. In the US, to sell pickups they MUST be produced in the US (NAFTA).

2. To do this you need a certain amount of pickup truck volume.

3. If this volume is not forthcoming, then it is not viable or too risky because of the LACK (relating to size, ie small) of market size required ensuring greater opportunity of success.

It isn't about my ding ding is bigger than yours, we are discussing commercial and economics concepts. An area you constantly find to abstract to comprehend.

RE Big Al

Pickups produced in Mexico are not subject to Chicken Tax.
VW has assembly plant in Mexico.
VW will assemble the Amarok in Mexico starting with 2020 model year.
Volume of 50K annual is sufficient to replace the models vacating Puebla to allow Amarok production.

The guy from down under is unable to accept an alternative to his exotic points of view, no matter how it's introduced.

VW only needs to realign its manufacturing capacity to meet its corporate needs in North America. As such, no new shop floor capacity is required.

Presently VW builds too many coupes and sedans in a market that is presently bored to death with them. Dedicate some of that shop floor capacity and manpower to building large SUVs and Pickups!

The US market for large SUVs and Pickups is robust and not presently being met with sufficient products. VW and a partner could easily address this.

All American,
Still makes little diffrrence.

The Amarok is one of the most expensive pickups, so this will make it less attractive in Mexico. Plus, so what product will VW stop producing in its Mexican plant you speak to make the Amarok? More than likely a new plant is needed, with the associated billions in equipment.

The US Amarok market is pivitol. If Colorado sales numbers are not realised, there is no Amarok ........ unless the Chicken Tax is removed and the Amarok can be imported from Germany or Argentina.

With Argentina, why would VW not import the Amarok into Mexico?

VW stated there is not enough US market scope for the Amarok. This means not enough can be sold in the US market for the Amarok inclusion in their US lineup.

This to me sounds the US market is not large enough for the Amarok. This all caused by the Chicken Tax. The Chicken Tax has artificially distorted the US market.

Its not all about who sells the most in the world. This is about market access and the required market size you need to enter it.

The US pickup market as it stands due to protectionism is too small to ensure the success of new entrants like the Amarok and other players.

The guy down under fails to read and comprehend my vision. Forget the Amarok in US.

The US midsize market is but a fraction of the full size pickup and SUV market. Why carry coals to Newcastle?

Instead, VW could partner with a current US producer (they sold Chrysler minivans under the VW nameplate a few years ago). VW dealers are aching to sell a product that gives customers something different than another Passat or Golf.

Imagine if VW and FCA co-developed a half ton VW branded pickup and SUV line to compete with Ford and GM. It would be a winner.

Our family with our 9 children love our Sprinter 4x4. That thing rides very smooth with the diesel motor. We love the room to move around the cabin on long trips. The old vans were terrible with people needing to duck under seatbelts to get through the isle. We think it actually looks really nice and get stopped all the time at gas stations with people asking about the Sprinter.

VW is not interested in the US Pickup market but the US Class 8 ,distribution and Van market. They are in a process of taking over Navistar to achieve that. VW's Heavy Truck divisions Scania and Man are after MB's and Volvo's Global Market share

RoadWhale, WTF?

You need a market first. An auto manufacturer will no gamble billions in a country with high overheads, which reduce export potential if a product turnover doesn't cover the investment. This is where papajim is lost, he is comparing US turnover with other countries when the issue is an US issue. The Chicken Tax has altered the US pickup market dynamics considerably. It is not a free market, so free marketing thinking does not apply here.

The global Amarok market is catered for already, so who will the US sell one of the most expensive mid size pickups to?

The fellow formerly known as Vulpine, and the gent from down under cannot grasp (evidently) the idea of a successful entry of a new half ton pickup in a US market that's starving for upscale crewcab pickups, and large SUVs.

Last year GM sold almost 150k large pickup-based SUVs in addition to selling just under a million regular and midsize pickups. I don't have time to monetize that for you but it's a ton of money.

VW and a partner such as FCA or Nissan, could badge an existing product, or develop an all new product.

All of which would be superior to sitting on the bench and simply watching as the Big 3 sell damn near two million pickups in the US every year.

And please, forget the Amarok. The mid size pickup in the US is only a quarter of the market.

" All of which would be superior to sitting on the bench and simply watching as the Big 3 sell damn near two million pickups in the US every year"
But comes nowhere near owning a large sloce of the Class 8 , 5-7 market plus Vans

@Mr Ryan

please stick to the topic. What does Class 8 have to do with our discussion about whether VW has a market for Amaroks in the US or the idea that VW could partner with a major automaker to brand an alternative to the Amarok in the US?

Amarok, welcome to 2009 VW. I'm underwhelmed.

Please read my posts. VW has NO intention of making the Amarok in the US .thry are very interested in taking on MB and Volvo in Heavy trucks globally.
They want to takeover Navistar and get involved with supply and distribution in the US. GM does not have a heavy truck division

@Robert R

GM has made brilliant business decisions during the last five years which is why their financial performance has been so good during the last couple of years.

RE: VW I have been trying to engage the guy I formerly called Big Al regarding the global Amarok, and I suggested that VW would be far better off entering the US market with a full size pickup because that's where the consumer interest happens to be---not Class 8 trucks or mid size pickups. Al thinks development cost is too high for a dedicated North America product and I replied that a partner such as Nissan or RAM could be the answer.

Class 8 was never a part of the discussion, nor was building for global markets.

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