Volkswagen AG unveiled a prototype pickup truck at the New York auto show on Wednesday, a vehicle that would fill a gap in the German company’s U.S. product lineup in what is one of the most profitable segments of the American market.
The German automaker said the dual-cab, short-bed concept Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak pickup truck could be built off the same platform at its Chattanooga, Tenn., assembly plant, where it builds the Atlas SUV and Passat car.
Volkswagen said it does not currently have production plans for a U.S. pickup but “is keen to gauge the reactions of buyers and media, since pickup trucks are one of the biggest volume segments in the U.S.” The vehicle could compete with pickups like the Honda Ridgeline, executives said.
“We want to be a relevant player in this market. We want to definitely be a full-line automaker,” said Hinrich Woebcken, chief executive of the North American region for the VW, told reporters Tuesday in New York. “We want to be more American.”
Pickups accounted for about 16% of U.S. auto sales in 2017 and the best-selling vehicle is Ford Motor Co’s F-Series pickup trucks.
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