Volkswagen has a dilemma on its hands for the midsize pickup it intends on launching in the United States.
The German car manufacturer recently secured a global strategic partnership with Ford to co-develop light commercial vehicles. Through this partnership, it could sell a rebadged body-on-frame version of the Ford Ranger. However, the company also has the option of building a unibody pickup based on the Atlas crossover and previewed by the Tanoak concept launched in March.
According to Autonews, Volkswagen is weighing up its options but does believe that building a Ranger-based pickup will help to minimize costs.
“I wouldn’t rule out anything [on the car side], but the focus is let’s first get the LCV projects running.
“We want a concrete project vehicle that has a start of production and a certain volume, and then can talk about other issues,” Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles chief executive Thomas Sedran said.
However, selling a Ranger-based VW pickup wouldn’t be as simple as it may seem. As Volkswagen is a more up-scale brand than Ford, it would have to price its pickup at a significant premium over the Ranger and this could turn away customers.
If VW were to put the Tanoak into production, it would be able to price it as it sees fit. Some are concerned that a unibody pickup like this wouldn’t hold the worldwide appeal of a body-on-frame vehicle like the Ranger, leaving Volkswagen in a bit of a quandary.
VW chief strategy officer Michael Jost said a final decision has yet to be made.
“Whether it’s a unibody or body-on-frame is something we’re still examining.”