Will VW finally enter the US truck market?
Without question the mid-size pickup truck is experiencing a revival in the US right now. The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins will soon be joined alongside the reborn Ford Ranger. The Toyota Tacoma, heavily updated a couple of years ago, still continues to be a money maker as well. Based on this, could other automakers opt to jump into the mid-size truck segment as well? What about the Volkswagen Amarok, which is only sold overseas? According to GM Authority, VW may have just taken its first step to bring that truck stateside.
VW has reportedly filed an application to register the Amarok nameplate with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. However, this isn't the first time VW has trademarked this specific name; it's done so twice in the past. Each time the trademark expired, only to be renewed later on. But this time may be different. Almost exactly a year ago at Detroit, we spoke with Volkswagen's chief engineering officer, Dr. Matthias Erb, regarding potential future derivatives of the then-new Atlas platform. He confirmed to us on the spot VW was considering developing the Atlas into a pickup truck, but nothing was finalized.
Erb also acknowledged to launch a full-size body-on-frame pickup truck in the US considering the Big Three automakers will always protect their turf. However, the reemergence of the mid-size truck category could provide the opening VW is looking for. Considering the Amarok nameplate already has some recognition – and this is purely speculation – an Atlas-based version specifically for the US doesn't sound so far-fetched.