The Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak pickup, unveiled in concept format at the last New York auto show, is still a possibility for the North American, but the automaker remains skittish about competition and has yet to make a go-or-no decision.
The vehicle is essentially a chopped version of the Volkswagen Atlas, with a box added to the back. The approach is practically a carbon copy of what Honda did with its Pilot-based Ridgeline.
In fact, the specs of the Tanoak, such we know them, are extremely similar to Honda’s oddball pickup.
It should be easy to imagine there’s a spot available on the market for a VW-badged pickup like this. But at company HQ, the decision-makers remain unconvinced, or at least undecided. In a recent interview with Autocar, Hinrich Woebcken, head of Volkswagen for the U.S., stated his enthusiasm about seeing the model offered in his territory, but he also admitted that it would face fearsome competition from firmly-ensconced American rivals.
“(The model) fits the brand well, because we want to get more American in the US, but it's something we have to look at carefully. It's a very patriotic segment, which American manufacturers dominate."
- Hinrich Woebcken
Volkswagen prudence is understandable, but let’s use the occasion to remind the powers-that-be there that one of the best-sellers in the segment the Tanoak would compete in, is a foreign product, the Toyota Tacoma.
In other words, if the Tanoak rubs consumers the right way and demonstrates its abilities, it will find its clientele.