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Volkswagen hints toward new electric pickup truck

Nearly 40 years after Volkswagen stopped selling pickup trucks in the United States, it will do so again.

At least that’s what VW of America CEO Scott Keogh suggested recently during an interview with Business Insider.

“I think it’s the chance of a lifetime in this segment because electrification gives you a reset moment,” Keogh said. “It gives you a chance to bring some, let’s say, alternatives and some new ideas into this great segment.”

Volkswagen introduced a pickup truck concept several years ago, but it was never developed into production models. Now VW says it may try again to offer a pickup truck.
Volkswagen introduced a pickup concept several years ago, but it was never developed into production models. Now VW says it may try again to offer a truck.

VW leaning toward pickup truck return

Keogh said an electric pickup is something VW is “actively investigating.”

Volkswagen has twice suggested it would re-enter the U.S. market. Its previous pickup was last offered in 1983.

In 2018, the automaker unveiled at Atlas Tanoak concept which was based on the Atlas mid-size SUV. One year later, VW introduced the smaller Tarok concept.

Neither of the concepts developed into consumer-available vehicles.

Volkswagen offers several internal-combustion-engine pickups outside the U.S., including the Amarok.

VW’s previous pickup failed

In its last effort in the U.S., VW upsized its 1982 four-cylinder pickups to 78 horsepower in gasoline models and 52 horsepower in the diesel trim. But sales stumbled. Volkswagen sold 37,392 of the upgraded vehicles in the U.S. in 1981. The tally fell to 2,079 in 1983.

Volkswagen hopes to add 75 pure electric models by 2029, many of them riding on the Group’s MEB platform. It’s a modular car platform for electric cars developed by the Volkswagen Group and its subsidiaries and used i Audi, SEAT, Škoda and Volkswagen models.

The architecture, according the VW is aimed to “consolidate electronic controls and reduce the number of microprocessors, advance the application of new driver-assistance technology and somewhat alter the way cars are built.”

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