Audi may finally bring one of our dream cars to the US.
When we first heard the rumors that Mercedes-Benz was building a pickup truck, we loved the idea, but didn't think it would happen. Now the rumors have grown and we have even seen spy shots of the supposed Mercedes pickup truck. The hype is real. Even Mercedes' rival Audi is starting to consider whether a pickup truck makes business sense. In an interview with Australian website CarAdvice, Audi Australia managing director Andrew Doyle said that no product has been confirmed, but that there could be a market.
When asked if Audi could sell a luxury-ute locally Doyle said “It depends if there is really a market there for a premium utility model like that. What I can say is that the brand has proven that as much as we stretch into different areas and different segments, we can have success.” Since this interview took place in Australia, the stakes are very different. One in every six cars sold there is a pickup or "ute." Doyle pointed out that “If the formula is there to ensure its premium quality and premium performance, we’d have to do a global case study to see if that would be the case. It certainly would be an interesting addition to the Australian fleet.” So it is still unsure of how an Audi pickup could be received elsewhere in the world.
For example, the Volkswagen Amarok pickup truck is a best seller in its class in Australia, but isn't even available in the US. Audi would likely base its truck on the Amarok, with a more upscale feel. We absolutely love the prospect of being able to buy a luxurious version of the Amarok in the US. However, we doubt that Volkswagen will suddenly change its mind about selling the Amarok in any form in the US because of cost issues, mainly the Chicken Tax. Audi's pickup truck hinges on whether the Mercedes pickup truck becomes a reality. All that we can hope for is that Mercedes hits it out of the park and Audi is forced to build a competing pickup truck of it own. Rendering by: Theophilus Chin