VW’s Amarok and roll-out
Argentina plays a vital part, writes PAULGOVER
AONE-TONNE pickup from Argentina could take the points next year as Volkswagen continues its sales drive into Australia.
The new Amarok has the potential to outsell the Golf Down Under as the German brand decides to get serious about ending the Japanese ute’s global domination, led by the Toyota HiLux.
Volkswagen’s first ute has been designed in Europe but was always planned for a worldwide sales push, with production set for a low-cost base outside Buenos Aires in Argentina.
‘‘How important is the Amarok? It’s very important,’’ Volkswagen Group Australia spokesman Karl Gehling says.
‘‘The size of the pick-up market in Australia is very big and it’s a great opportunity to expand into a new segment.’’
The Amarok— its name means ‘‘wolf’’ in the Inuit language used in Canada and Greenland — will reach Australia in the second half of next year. Left-hand-drive production begins about March; right-drive utes will follow later.
‘‘We will be one of the first to get it,’’ Gehling says. ‘‘The rollout starts with South America, then Russia and Europe, then Africa and Australia.’’
The Amarok has been displayed at motor shows as a twin- cab four-wheel-drive only, but there are plans for a much broader range for Volkswagen’s sixth commercial vehicle project.
‘‘There will be a double-cab and a single-cab version. The single cab will be a cab-chassis and it won’t have an integrated tray,’’ Gehling says.
Volkswagen is confident the Amarok will sell well in Australia and has the potential to trump the Golf in showrooms.
‘‘What makes it very interesting is it’s the first European pickup to compete in that market and it will bring Volkswagen’s strengths to the market,’’ he says. ‘‘Watch out!’’
Amarok steady: Volkswagen’s VW Amarok pick-up will land here in the second half of next year.