A report from Carbuzz states that Volkswagen is seriously considering a pickup truck version of the 2018 VW Atlas three-row crossover for the U.S. market. VW has not had a pickup truck entry in the United States for decades. The company says that importing a VW Amarok from overseas is completely out of the question. On the other hand, the all-new 2018 VW Atlas crossover will be built at VW’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant. US-built pickup trucks can avoid the import “chicken” tax, and this can surely fast-track a pickup variant for the American market.
Dr. Matthias Erb, chief engineering officer for Volkswagen of North America told Carbuzz that a body-on-frame pickup truck is also under consideration, but that market is “protected” and controlled by Ford, GM, and Ram. In other words, it is very difficult to gain market share in the half-ton / body-on-frame pickup segment. A unibody-based truck, similar to the Honda Ridgeline, may have a better chance of success in the midsize pickup segment.
To be clear, Volkswagen has not made the decision to develop and sell an Atlas-based pickup truck in the U.S. This report simply states that the company is considering this as an option.