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It Might Take More Than American Enthusiasm to Make This Volkswagen Truck a Reality

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Image: VW of America

Volkswagen’s Atlas Tanoak idea was one of many few fascinating merchandise to emerge from final week’s New York auto present, however the Atlas-based mostly pickup stays a one-off for now. The automaker plans to decide consumer curiosity earlier than making a determination to scrap the thought or log off on a manufacturing model. Naturally, with VW staking it’s U.S. fortunes on mild trucks, the quantity-looking for firm would really like to get as a lot mileage out of its Atlas structure as attainable. See the 2-row  Atlas Cross Sport for Exhibit B.

However does the Tanoak’s future hinge on People expressing an awesome want for a VW truck? Not completely.

In accordance to Wards Auto, Volkswagen of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken’s gaze doesn’t finish on the continent’s perimeter. The Tanoak’s manufacturing might hinge on overseas demand.

“We probably wouldn’t solely take a look at the info for demand right here in america to get enterprise economics collectively,” Woebcken stated at a media roundtable final week. “Perhaps then additionally there’s the chance of exporting the pickup truck out of the USA and producing scale of financial system out of this.”

The automaker’s Chattanooga plant, which produces the Atlas (and its future variants, if inexperienced-lit), has a potential annual manufacturing capability of 500,000 automobiles. It isn’t utilizing shut to that quantity. At present, staff in Chattanooga construct solely the Atlas and dwindling Passat, with the three-row MQB platform crossover just lately happening sale within the Center East and Russia.

So, manufacturing capability isn’t a roadblock for a potential U.S. VW truck, simply its market. U.S. consumers in search of an uncommon pickup may at some point have abroad curiosity to thank for his or her new Tanoak, however different issues stay. In creating the Tanoak idea, VW stretched the donor Atlas’ wheelbase by eleven inches so as to craft a useable mattress. This places the Tanoak, as we all know it now, dangerously shut to full-size territory, Woebken stated.

For advertising functions as a lot as anything, VW has to first determine what it needs the Tanoak to be: a midsize way of life pickup, or a brawnier, extra succesful full-size.

Ought to curiosity surpass VW brass’ wildest expectations, we ponder whether Chattanooga’s manufacturing of the Tanoak, Atlas, its 5-seater by-product, and the Passat would alter VW’s tentative plans to make the most of the plant for electric automobiles. Late final yr, VW model boss Herbert Diess stated Chattanooga was the automaker’s “first selection” for manufacturing of I.D.-branded EVs.

[Images: Volkswagen]

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