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USA: VW plans vans and pickups to become mainstream automaker

March 30, 2015
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Volkswagen wants to become a mainstream automaker in the U.S. by having significant presence in both passenger car and light commercial vehicle segments. The company is learned to be considering a pickup truck and light vans for the market, as per a report from Bloomberg. Light commercial vehicle segment is a very important space for volume aspirations in this market and major automakers like Ford, Chevrolet, Nissan, etc. have their presence here. The pickup truck especially, is a must-have product for automakers in their American range.

Crossovers/SUVs are also popular in the U.S. market but VW offers just two vehicles – Tiguan and Touareg. Close rival Toyota offers 6 vehicles in this segment. The Amarok pickup truck is sold internationally but is probably too small & non-American to compete with the segment leaders like the Ford F-150.

Even if the Amarok was brought in the U.S., it most likely wouldn’t do well, as it does not look as mean and as rugged as the popular pickups in U.S. The engines offered are not powerful enough. For instance, the most powerful engine offered on the extreme version of the Amarok called the “Amarok Dark Label” is a 180 hp 2.0-liter diesel engine. The Amarok range would need a lot of modifications and enhancements to be offered in the U.S.

The light commercial vehicle range of the company includes the Caddy, Crafter and T5 vans and minibuses. These vehicles are not offered here as of now but are likely to be in the near future if the company decides to enter light commercial vehicle segment.

[Source: Bloomberg]

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