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VW in the USA: Volkswagen relies on the big pick


The pick-up is an original American car, now Volkswagen wants to attack the USA with a new electric variant. The group urgently needs success there - and relies on a legendary brand.

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First sketches for the public: VW wants to attack in the USA with these two electric models

Photo: Volkswagen

Volkswagen enters the lucrative pick-up business in the USA.

The Wolfsburg-based company is launching two purely electric models.

The new cars will be sold under the Scout name, and the group is reactivating the traditional US brand.

VW announced these plans on Wednesday evening after a meeting of the supervisory board in Wolfsburg.

With this, the group wants to give impetus to a project that has been cherished for years.

Pick-ups are considered high-yield vehicles.

Although VW Commercial Vehicles has been producing the Amarok flatbed truck since 2010, around 830,000 vehicles have been built since then – but not for the USA.

The model is not offered there because so-called "light trucks" are subject to an import tax of 25 percent.

This import barrier, known as the »Chicken Tax«, dates back to the 1960s and was then a US reaction to European import duties on chicken meat.

The Amarok is also smaller than typical US pickups and would therefore not really compete with the Ford F150, Chevrolet Silverado, RAM 1500 and Co.

Now, however, VW has a double chance to finally successfully offer a pick-up in the USA.

The new electric drive should lead to market shares moving and newcomers have a chance against the dominant US provider from the Detroit area.

In addition, VW now has access to the name »Scout«.

That was the name of the robust and popular off-road vehicles and pick-ups that the International Harvester group built between 1960 and 1980.

When International Harvester was broken up, the Scout naming rights ended up with truck manufacturer Navistar.

And that in turn was taken over last year by the VW commercial vehicle division Traton.

According to information from company circles, the VW supervisory board is providing 100 million euros to rebuild "Scout" as an electric brand.

Initially, a purely electrically powered pick-up and an electric SUV are to be developed over the next four years.

According to Volkswagen, a new technical platform concept will be used.

It is possible that VW will build a new factory in the USA or Mexico in which the series vehicles will be produced from 2026.

The VW plant in Chattanooga (US state Tennessee) is already working to capacity.

Among other things, the ID.4 electric model and later the electric Bulli ID.Buzz will be manufactured there from the summer.

VW urgently needs new successes in the USA.

After the diesel emissions fraud, Wolfsburg's US business began to falter.

It was only last year that the group managed to turn back into the black after years of losses.

At the same time, VW sales in China, the manufacturer’s largest market, collapsed by 14 percent in 2021 (to a total of 3.3 million vehicles).

The new US perspective with the "Scout" brand could make VW more independent of China globally.

"Now that Volkswagen has managed the turnaround in the USA, we are now taking the opportunity to further expand our position in one of the most important growth markets for electric vehicles," said VW boss Herbert Diess.

Electrification gives the group the historic opportunity to enter the pick-up and SUV segment.

However, this strategy is not new and VW is likely to face tough competition.

Because by the time the electric Scout pick-up hits the highways, hundreds of thousands of electric models from the competition, such as the Ford F-150 Lightning, the Tesla Cybertruck or the Rivian R1T, will probably already be on the road.

With material from Reuters and dpa

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-05-12

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