Volkswagen has officially announced that it won’t be introducing a new flagship pick-up above the Amarok, effectively ending speculation about the future of the Atlas-based Tanoak that bowed at the New York International Auto Show two years ago.
Based on the same MQB platform as the Atlas, making it a unibody model like the Honda Ridgeline as opposed to the traditional body-on-frame pick-up, the Tanoak was classified as a mid-size vehicle aimed at rivalling the likes of not only the Ridgeline, but also the Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger, Nissan Frontier (Navara) and Toyota Tacoma.
In an interview with Autoblog on the sidelines of the Chicago Auto Show however, Volkswagen Vice President of Product Marketing and Strategy, Hein Schafer, said development costs and a lack of sufficient capability compared to the Tanoak’s intended rivals, along with the Ridgeline’s comparatively small market share, have all contributed in the decision not put it into production for North America.
He did however confirmed that Volkswagen has not given up on the idea of a pick-up for the States, alluding to that the smaller Tarok, which will enter production at the marque’s São José dos Pinhais plant in Brazil next year, could instead be offered as a lifestyle vehicle as opposed to being skewed towards overall capability.
Classified as a world model, the Tarok is slated to replace the Saveiro in South America and could become available in right-hand-drive and therefore in South Africa to rival the Nissan NP200 and the Renault Duster Oroch that will touch down in the second quarter of next year.