Monday, 22 October, 2018

Volkswagen to field pickup truck concept at New York Auto Show

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Sandy Mccarthy | 28 March, 2018, 00:39

Volkswagen will reveal a US-market "unibody" pickup truck concept at the NY motor show this week, according to well-placed sources speaking with industry title Automotive News.

The upcoming Ford Ranger is expected to do well next year and the Hyundai Santa Cruz concept that made its debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show is expected to follow.

If approved for production, the truck would likely be produced alongside the Atlas at VW's assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Volkswagen brand officials want to strengthen sales in regions such as the USA with more product designed for local tastes. The company opted to remove the Touareg SUV from the US market and replace it with the Atlas and upcoming five-seat version of the SUV exclusively to appeal to USA buyers further.

If the pickup concept receives positive reviews during the NY show, it could go into production relatively soon and would be built at VW's Tennessee assembly plant, sources said.

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"Diess has supported it from a very early phase in the project", one VW official, who declined to be named because the plans are not yet public, said about the planned pickup.

Volkswagen will show off a concept version of the two-row Atlas at this week's New York Auto Show.

Expected to be unveiled on Wednesday, the truck is said to be based off the Atlas SUV structure.

Volkswagen has sold such a vehicle, called the Amarok, in several markets outside the US for the past few years.

If it gets greenlighted for production, the Atlas-based unibody pickup will compete head-to-head with the Honda Ridgeline, which is built on the same platform as the Pilot SUV. That news came after Volkswagen confirmed that the T-Roc concept unveiled in Europe late past year would not make its way across the pond.

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