Volkswagen pickup concept to surprise NY auto show, report says

Pauline Obrien
March 28, 2018

Citing unnamed sources, Automotive News is reporting the concept pickup will be revealed on Wednesday alongside the company's new five-seater SUV.

Said to be a spin-off of the Atlas three-row crossover, the pickup concept will apparently be used to gauge customer response, with series production apparently a very real possibility - and soon.

The Atlas has become a huge success for VW since its introduction past year and is now the brand's second-best selling vehicle behind the compact Tiguan SUV.

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Volkswagen has made no secret of its intent to offer more locally-tailored products in the US market has it attempts to grab additional market share.

If the pickup concept receives positive reviews during the NY show, it could go into production relatively soon and would be built at the Tennessee assembly plant, Automotive News reported.

USA consumers are increasingly shifting to light trucks - notably crossovers, SUVs and pickups - prompting automakers to dramatically retool product plans and in some cases, pare unprofitable vehicle models from their lineups. Of course, no German brand offers a pickup in Canada at the moment.

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

VW sells a traditional midsize body-on-frame pickup called the Amarok in foreign markets, but it isn't now engineered to meet US regulations. The truck is expected to be based on the Atlas large crossover and slot within the midsize pickup market.

No other details were divulged about the possible midsize pickup, which VW will aim at rivals such as the Honda Ridgeline, Chevrolet Colorado, and upcoming Ford Ranger. Still, many may question whether it makes sense to offer a mild pickup created to compete with the Honda Ridgeline, which sells just a few thousand units a month.

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