Volkswagen has leaned on Toyota in the past for pickup help. A rebadged Toyota Hilux was sold by VW under the name "Taro" with only marginal success. This time, a new pickup from VW will be their own entirely.
The all new 2010 "Robust" (tentatively named) pickup will be offered in many variations - single and double cab, four wheel drive and also in cheaper two wheel drive. Engines are expected to include new common rail diesels but also a V6 gas engine for some markets.
A number of test vehicles were spied on the frozen lakes of Scandinavia, indicating that VW is serious about entering every potential niche market to remain the world's fourth largest car and truck maker (after Toyota, General Motors, and Ford), including commercial and lifestyle pickup trucks.
The European version is scheduled to be built at the VW plant in Hannover, Germany. Trucks for other markets will be built at their factory in Pacheco, Argentina, near where the picture above was snapped.
Volkswagen of America denies plans to sell this truck in the US, but then again, the US market is still the largest and most lucrative (ask the Japanese!), something VW is very aware of.
VW dealers in the US are also begging for new products, but in their opinion, VW is not acting as fast as some of the other manufacturers. As a consequence, VW has lost market segments it once dominated to the Asians. It now has a bitter fight on its hands to regain share. Can the new Robust pickup help close the gap?