Volkswagen Needs to Sell 100,000 Amaroks to Bring Truck to U.S.


Volkswagen plans on selling its new Amarok pickup truck in Europe and South America, but it seems ever more unlikely that the truck will be sold in North America. sat down with Stefan Jacoby, Volkswagen of America’s president and CEO, who talked about the whopping sales volumes needed to make a North American Amarok a reality. According to Jacoby, VW would have to sell 100,000 Amaroks annually in order to build a business case for the truck.

Of course, such a figure is highly unlikely, given the current state of the compact pickup market. The best-selling compact pickup is Toyota’s Tacoma, which managed to eke past Jacoby’s figure by approximately 2337 units through November. The next best-selling truck is Ford’s Ranger, with approximately half that number sold in the same time frame.

Additionally, there’s the matter of the so-called “Chicken Tax” which adds a 25-percent tariff to light trucks manufactured outside of the U.S. (presently, the pickup is built in Argentina), and the fact that VW is concentrating on revamping its passenger car lineup (think NMS) in the near future.

“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.”


Where is the advancement in automotive technology in the Amarok? It looks like the shortbox Ford Explorer pickup with Dodge pickup bars and steps. Maybe it is VW trying to do Honda Ridgeline. A truck is supposed to offer some utility for the tradeoffs one usually makes for performance, handling, and economy. The market is clearly being handled well by domestics and the scraps are being left for anyone who wants them. Send the little pickup to those other markets and let the soccer playing wimps buy them.
I disagree. My old Jetta TDI (currently owned by a good friend) has 230k miles with no sign of letting down. Bring this truck over with a base price comparable to a Jetta or Golf TDI and I guarantee it will sell, to the right market. As far as the chicken tax goes, that is YOUR government at work once again, stifling any advancement in automotive technology in the US. I'm sure if VW or anyone else brought over a 1/4 ton truck that got 30-40mpg for a reasonable price it would sell like hotcakes in 'middle America' as flyover jerks like to call it.
Thanks for the comment John. I was considering a TDI Golf but there is just more bad history than good with VW unless of course you have some retro fondness for underpowered, rear engined, wait twenty years while we keep working on cheap upgrades, kind of cars.
Unless VW improves support and quality control, they probably won't achieve their goals. View my VW experience at:
what is the big deal anyway if one little truck makes it here or not. Volkswagen has been in retreat for year moving the head office and such. Still have a view that they may go big here but people remember the quality issues that started the retreat. A 'chicken tax' is appropriate for a brand that still fails to deliver what America wants and still doesn't get it.

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