To those who had hoped that Volkswagen would launch the new generation of Amarok made in conjunction with Ford Ranger, the German brand has just thrown a nice bucket of cold water. In a statement announcing the investment of R$ 1.2 billion (US$ 250 million) in Argentina, the brand explained what it will do with the truck and also with the Taos.
“We are going to update it, we are going to modernize it and we are going to equip it with more security so that it continues selling here and throughout Latin America”, Pablo Di Si, president of VW Latin America.
Pablo Di Si’s words make clear a rumor that has been circulating for some time: Volkswagen will not produce the new generation of Amarok in Argentina. The new model will be restricted to South Africa, from where it will be exported to Europe and Oceania. For Brazil and other Latin countries, we will have the second restyling of the current generation launched in 2010.
Today, the current Amarok is already a 12-year-old product, being the oldest of all medium-sized trucks sold in Brazil. The current generations of Mitsubishi L200 Triton, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Hilux, for example, are from 2015, while the Chevrolet S10 was launched in 2012.
The investment announced by Volkswagen will be applied between 2022 and 2026, that is, Amarok stays the way it is for a while longer until the restyling is developed. It is very likely that it will reach 2030 in the same generation. But that does not mean, however, that Volkswagen will not invest in pickup trucks.
Amarok + Taos = Tarok
This amount can also be used to finally produce Tarok. The mid-range pickup was presented at the 2018 Auto Show and was already taken for granted as a production model, but delayed. So much so that Hyundai and Ford have launched competitors for Fiat Toro before.
Consultancy IHS Markit said the Tarok would start production in Argentina in 2025, just in time for Volkswagen to make changes to the Taos. Not coincidentally, Tarok is the junction of the names Taos and Amarok, the two models produced in Argentina. The average SUV, which sells less than everyone has bet, will undergo some changes to boost sales.
Volkswagen is not yet talking about restyling, but as it was launched in 2021, it is expected that by 2024 it will undergo its first style change. This coincides with the time of investment that the brand plans to make in Argentina. Before that, however, it will increase the rate of nationalization of Taos.
This will allow expanding the production of the model, which will depend less on international suppliers. In addition, the price can be reduced and the offer of versions can be expanded. Today the Taos is sold in the Comfortline version for R$177,460 and the Highline version for R$206,950. There’s a lot of space between them and the starting price is higher than where the Toyota Corolla Cross and Jeep Compass start.
Finally, Pablo Di Si also stated that the Ducati motorcycle brand will be manufactured in Cordoba, Argentina, together with the plant that produces transmissions for the group’s cars.
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