VW’s Amarok and roll-out

Ar­gentina plays a vi­tal part, writes PAULGOVER

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

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.

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