VW to Debut Compact Pickup at Brazil Auto Show

VW Concept1 Urban Pickup copy II

Volkswagen announced it will debut its new concept pickup truck Tuesday at the Sao Paulo International Motor Show in Brazil. In a statement, VW said the unnamed pickup will be based off the versatile unibody MQB platform, which the automaker uses on everything from the Tiguan compact SUV to the three-row Atlas SUV, meaning it will likely be founded on a front-wheel-drive platform with all-wheel-drive capability.

You'll remember that VW revealed the surprise-of-the-show Atlas Tanoak mid-size pickup concept at the 2018 New York International Auto Show in March. That was based off a longer-wheelbase Atlas SUV platform and had several interesting features like a four-corner air suspension, pass-through mid-gate, and front and rear winches. The new concept is said to offer a "multivariable" bed that allows the floor to extend for more loading deck surface area. Our guess is this is a small urban pickup is designed to do more luggage carrying than payload hauling.

VW said the debut of this concept starts the countdown to the launch of the new compact, yet-to-be-named pickup. VW also said the pickup "could be conceivably suitable" to regions beyond South America. So far VW has only released a sketch of what looks like a car-based extended-cab street truck with big wheels and tires. And don't forget that a memorandum of cooperation exists between Ford and VW so this could have implications for the Blue Oval.

Manufacturer illustration



Sheesh! Why do they have to wait until AFTER I've purchased before making these kinds of announcements?

Still, we'll probably not see any true compact pickups for at least another four years. I'm not that patient; I've already waited four years and more for a proper modern compact and I needed something NOW, rather than waiting another four-plus years.

When I was in Rio there were a number of small car-sized pickups of various brands. Similar in size and configuration to the old VW rabbit (caddy?) pickups. Many seemed to be for delivery or "handymen" doing repairs. Sometimes I see the same ones here in the US from people who commute from Mexico. Parking was pretty tight everywhere in downtown Rio so a small truck was perfectly sized to fight for parking. A lot less expensive to buy also for people who cannot afford a loaded Hilux. Even if it's not crowded in many parts of South America or wherever these compact trucks are marketed, there will always be a market for a small affordable truck. Even in the developed world where we are told to shut up and either buy a $35,000 truck or get lost. Consumer demand be damned.

Don't hold your breath! While they are a major force elsewhere, VW is still a joke in the US.

After being years behind, they've finally created some interest in their Atlas CUV only to have it show up on everybody's WORST lists recently, mostly for poor reliability.

I'm trying to remember the last time they actually LED the auto industry with a new theme or product idea.

It took them so long to bring popular ideas to the market here in North America that BMW, Volvo and Mercedes ate their (market share) lunch in markets that would have traditionally been the complete domain of VW, ie., smaller CUVs, sedans and coupes.

Even Ford outplays them in those niches and Ford can't make money doing it.

Like I said, don't hold your breath waiting for VW to do something that requires verve or imagination.

NA is a backwater for them. Less than 2% Global sales happen in NA. You get the feeling they are treading water . Much greater emphasis has been put into Skoda globally than their entire NA operation

Explains why they take a long time to react to trends in NA. Other markets that make a lot of money for them, they are leaders in innovation

NA is a backwater for them.


Maybe. But explain why they invested ONE BILLION DOLLARS to build an assembly plant in eastern Tennessee if North America is a tertiary market.

I'm not saying you're wrong, just not clear why they would burn that kind of shareholder capital to put down roots there.

Had this discussion before my reply got lost in cyberspace
That development is I think joint development with navistar introduce VW commercial vehicles in North America this does not include the Amarok

I thought Navistar was making trucks for GM.

Seems replies are being lost in Cyberspace. They also worked for Ford, VW heavy Truck and Bus Division want to buy Navistar
Navistar wants a tie up with VW Commercial, not Heavy Trucks


Navistar? Skoda?

I'm talking about the investment VW made in building their plant in Chattanooga TN. A billion dollars. Jetta, small cars.

At a time when Americans are ditching coupes and sedans VW is all in with it. Dismal strategy on their part. Don't even mention diesel.

I would be interested. I just recently bought a 2008 Ranger as I don't like any of the larger mid-sized pickups! It's all about the money and how to gouge the public.

That is what they want to sell not cars.Do not know where you are getting this information...link?

I know they have expanded the current plant to build on the Atlas platform

@papajim--I realize the VW is a large Global presence but I agree in the US it is more like they didn't even bother to phone in. I am not overly impressed with VW. Anyway any pickup they might get will most likely come from Ford which might be a good thing since Ford has a better record for reliability than VW.

@papajim--I realize the VW is a large Global presence but I agree in the US it is more like they didn't even bother to phone in. I am not overly impressed with VW. Anyway any pickup they might get will most likely come from Ford which might be a good thing since Ford has a better record for reliability than VW.

@Jeff S
VW is not that interested in the to them ,the relatively small US market.They spent $300 million to upgrade their Chattanooga facility to build the Atlas SUV
If the Administration allows it they will take over Navistar, which VW and Navistar want to grow their Commercial presence in the US


Wake up! How many times do I have to say it.

VW spent a BILLION DOLLARS to build cars in Chattanooga TN. They endure the herculean task of building the supply chain, the relationships and the workforce needed to make cars in Tennessee.

You keep saying the US market is small.

Huh? Is that why VW, Hyundai, Daimler, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, BMW and Honda have bought or built plants in the US during the last 25 years?

@ Papajim
You got it very wrong . VW has already invested $900 million iin the current venture $300 million it in the extension
Need to show links

This is small beans. For VW The others? As a reaction to the Chicken Tax, otherwise they would live up to the name of imports and all the foreign vehicles because would be imported

@Robert. Your brains have turned to mush. One Billion Dollars invested in a Dow 30 ETF in February 2009 would have increased 3x in value in the last 10 years. Can VW shareholders say that about their VW stock? Please don't trifle with your fellow commenters here at PUTC.

Saying that North America is a minor market for automakers like VW is a serious gaffe. Saying that a billion dollars of shareholder capital is no big deal is stupid.

The world's automakers are presently overbuilt on shopfloor resources and this has been true since the 1990s. There is ZERO chance that VW's board of directors is blase about North America.

Good night.



Here are some Marketwatch share-price graphics that show how badly VW stock has been during the last 25 years (link above).

You wanted a link, right?

It's interesting that we get this article on Saturday, to hear today that VW may attempt to partner with Ford for a new Amarok... to possibly be sold internationally AND in the US, dodging the Chicken Tax.


Take a look at the financial health of Ford and VW. Their prospects for the future demand some new thinking.

@Robert Ryan--If VW is not interested in the US market then why don't they pull out. It doesn't make sense to have a US plant. Why did they bother introducing the Atlas? Seems they spend a lot of money in a market they are not interested in? I believe that VW has an interest in the US market or they would have pulled out a long time ago. The US market is second to China.

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