When you look behind all the hype that car makers tend to generate about their various models you will find some very pragmatic business people. Take the people at VW and their first entry into what Americans call the ‘small truck market’ (and the rest of us tend to call 4WD utes) and the reason they’re not going to sell the Amarok in the US despite plenty of interest by potential buyers.
Despite the fact that there is a left-hand drive version of the Amarok being built for various markets around the world building one for the US market is simply out of the question because VW know that they’re not going to sell enough Amaroks to break even. VW have done the numbers and they know that they would have to sell at least 100,000 Amaroks a year in the United States and the market for these small trucks isn’t big enough to generate that sort of demand.
And not only is the market not big enough now but it’s actually contracting as buyers move up to the next level. (I guess ute buyers in the US aren’t all that interested in being green).
Right now Toyota are the only manufacturer in the small truck market in the US who are selling over 100,000 vehicles a year and Ford, in second place, has only sold 51,097 up to the end of November.
It’s interesting to compare those numbers with the number of Hilux sales Toyota makes in Australia. The HiLux went on sale in Australia over 30 years ago and since then Toyota has only sold 600,000 of them – 40,000 in the last two years.
Sometimes the numbers that car makers have to think about must get a bit scary.