VW Exec Rules New Truck For America

The North American truck market is a goldmine for automakers, but few of them have managed to monetize the largest segment in this region of the world. Volkswagen doesn’t have a product in this category yet and it looks like none will be coming for at least the rest of the decade. Sorry, VW dealers.

The company’s retailers in the United States have been asking for pickup trucks for years but for now, it looks like their need will go unanswered. That’s despite the fact that Volkswagen is cooking up trucks under its Scout branding. However, these products will not be shared with VW’s core brand, leaving the dealership without competition for the Ford Ranger, F-150, and larger trucks.

Recently, Thomas Schafer, the newly appointed global head of the Volkswagen brand, said the Rugged SUV platform currently being developed for the Scout brand was not in VW’s plans. Meanwhile, Pablo Di Si, VW’s new head of North America, believes VW’s new pickup “needs to be electrified”, leaving the brand without an option for a combustion-powered utility.

“Right now, our focus on the lineup doesn’t include that,” Schafer said Automotive News during a roundtable before the Los Angeles Auto Show. “Right now, we have a clear lineup throughout the second half of the decade. Then again, in the American market, if you’re not playing in a certain segment, then you have to stay in a certain market share area. But a question about [VW’s new Rugged SUV platform] not our priority at the moment.”

Apparently, the German company will have to be content with Volkswagen’s current portfolio, which includes at least a number of good SUVs. As for the newly established Scout brand, it is expected to bring production trucks to the US market but this won’t happen until 2026. An electric SUV is also in the plans.

As a side note, Volkswagen is showcasing the Tarok concept during the 2019 New York Auto Show, giving dealers and customers confidence that a truck can launch in the US. The prototype had a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 147 horsepower (110 kilowatts), sent to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Note: The VW Tarok concept is pictured.

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