New York auto show: Volkswagen reveals Atlas pickup truck

2019 Volkswagen Atlas pickup truck, 2018 New York Auto Show

2019 Volkswagen Atlas pickup truck is here

Volkswagen AG revealed a prototype pickup truck at the New York auto show, a vehicle that is capable of filling a gap in the German company’s U.S. product lineup in what is among the most profitable sectors of the American market.

The automaker stated the dual-cab, short-bed concept Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak pickup truck could be constructed off the same platform at its Chattanooga, Tennessee assembly plant, where it constructs the Atlas SUV and Passat car.

Volkswagen also stated right now it does not have production plans for a U.S. pickup but “is keen to gauge the reactions of buyers and media, since pickup trucks are among the biggest volume segments in the U.S.” The vehicle could rival with pickups like the Honda Ridgeline, executives stated.

“We want to be a relevant player in this industry. We want to definitely be a full-line automaker,” stated Hinrich Woebcken, one of the Volkswagen executive, informed reporters Tuesday in New York. “We want to be more American.”

Pickups represent about 16 percent of U.S. auto sales in last year and the best-selling vehicle is Ford Motor’s F-Series pickup trucks.

The automaker sells the Amarok pickup truck in Europe and other places but not in the United States, where it deals with a 25 percent import tariff. Volkswagen last sold a pickup truck in the United States in the mid-1980s.

The Tanoak, named after a species of tree that is indigenous to the United States’ Pacific Coast, is 214.1 inches long, some 15.8 inches longer compared to the Atlas, which makes it a huge midsize pickup by U.S. standards.

Last week, the automaker stated it plans to invest $340 million to construct a new sport utility vehicle in its Tennessee plant as demand increases for larger vehicles.

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