In the category of “Do We Really Need This?”, let us add the new line of Volkswagen pick-up trucks that were announced recently. That’s right. The same German automaker known for economical models such as the Rabbit and the iconic Beetle has managed to outdo itself in utter dopiness. This is about as bad as their idea that consumers would pay over $80K to buy the heavy, under-selling Phaeton, the once-flagship car for VW, until people realized it was just a fat, overstuffed Passat. The company, which has had some successes with the new streamlined Passat, including the launch this summer of the new Passat CC coupe, and the Eos, apparently can’t leave well enough alone. It also manages to arrive at the dance too late.
Really now. Take a look at the video filmed secretly [below]: it’s supposed to be the new Volkswagen Robust. Kind of looks like your old Grandpa’s old heap he’d use on weekends to haul around bales of hay. This midsize truck was to be built in Hannover but mercifully, and as a result of high oil prices, VW decided to drop that idea, according to Forbes Magazine.
Sure, it’s probably unfair to judge this thing that won’t see the light of day now, but don’t you think if VW really wanted to produce something, it would deliver something more dazzling than something you can grab in a U-Haul parking lot? What is this white thing? Some kind of amorphous blob that looks vaguely like a squished hat? Don’t Toyota and Nissan, not to mention Ford and Chevy, already have the ugly-lumpy-somewhat-muscular-nondescript pick up truck already cornered.
Also, the Robust was supposed to be built for the European market. Last I checked, many European cobblestone streets and narrow alleys could not possibly accommodate the plump hips of this pick up, Even the word ‘pick up’ doesn’t seem all that European.
Obviously VW is going for some kind of Honda Ridgeline look-a-like, but once again, it’s too late to get any consumers interested in a heavy pick-up truck. Has VW taken a look at car dealers’ inventories in their lots in the US? They’re full not because Americans are waiting for a truck with the whimsical VW emblem, but because they can’t afford to feed their behemoths. And so VW plays a catch-up game once again.
They arrived much too late with their Audi Q7, in its $50K price tag glory, at a time when we were all trying to get rid of our big cars. It didn’t sell well, but that’s besides the point because it ended up being the second choice of those who wanted a Porsche Cayenne –a satisfied niche in the marketplace. In short, I just want to know when VW will return to setting trends instead of following them. The Touareg was somewhere in between, but it isn’t exactly a stunner.
Now the bad news: that little stinker in the video will be replaced by an “open-air” truck, which may be something akin to an Ikea shopping cart when it’s finally produced. Thankfully, no spy pics as yet but you can just take off the lid of the other one to imagine it. The open-air truck will be built in Argentina, in Pacheco. The world awaits what heap will emerge.