05 May 2010
You're a new pupil at a school and you notice the toughest child surrounded by all the other rough kids. You go up to them and you let it be known that you are here now and things are going to be different in future. You're taking a slice of the action from now on. That would be brave, but maybe not the smartest move.
Well that is how I see VW's decision to enter the Japanese dominated Pick Up Truck market. Brands like Hilux, Navarra, Triton and Rodeo are tough, mean, experienced vehicles. Yet VW is going into this arena, saying in effect that things are going to be different from now on. It plans taking a slice of the action. Brave? Certainly. Stupid? We will have to wait and see. The new Amorak (pictured above) is Veedubs move into the Pick Up segment and by all accounts a good first attempt. It will be made in Argentina (?), unlike most others which originate in Thailand. It's VW Groups attempt to be top dog in the automotive world and it will not achieve this by ignoring any sizable segment of the market.
However, just as the tough kids in the school won't just hand over their playground dominance to a new arrival without a fight, so also the existing Pick Up manufacturers. I'm expecting it will take time for VW to woo large numbers of loyal buyers away from Hilux and co. Let the fight begin.
The bottom line: A brave yet necessary move by VW.