The North American truck market is a gold mine for the automakers but only several of them manage to monetize the largest segment in this region of the world. Volkswagen doesn’t have a product in this category yet and it seems that there’s nothing coming at least until the end of the decade. Sorry, VW dealers.
The company’s retailers in the United States have been asking for a pickup truck for years but for now, it appears that their needs won’t be answered. That’s despite the fact that Volkswagen is cooking up a truck under its Scout brand. However, this product won’t be shared with the VW core marque, leaving the dealers with no competitor for the Ford Ranger, F-150, and larger trucks.
Gallery: Volkswagen Tarok Concept
Just recently, Thomas Schafer, the newly appointed global head of the Volkswagen brand, said the Rugged SUV platform that is currently under development for the said Scout brand is not in VW’s plans. Meanwhile, Pablo Di Si, the new head of VW in North America, believes a new pickup from VW “needs to be electrified,” leaving the brand with no options for a combustion-powered utility.
“At the moment, our focus on the lineup doesn't include it,” Schafer told Automotive News during a roundtable before the Los Angeles Auto Show. “At the moment, we have a clear lineup all the way through the second half of this decade. Then again, in the American market, if you don't play in certain segments, then you have to stay in a certain market share area. But the question of [VW's new Rugged SUV platform] is not our priority at the moment.”
Apparently, the German company will have to make do with Volkswagen’s current portfolio, which, at least, includes a good number of SUVs. As for the newly founded Scout brand, it is expected to bring a production truck to the US market but this won’t happen until 2026. An electric SUV is also in the cards.
As a side note, Volkswagen displayed the Tarok concept during the 2019 New York Auto Show, giving the dealers and customers some faith a truck could be launched in the US. The prototype had a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 147 horsepower (110 kilowatts), delivered to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox.
Note: VW Tarok concept pictured.