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VW open to sourcing next pickup truck from Ford

by Ronan Glon

An agreement hasn't been made yet.

The rumors claiming Volkswagen could team up with Ford to replace the Amarok were accurate. Company CEO Herbert Diess confirmed the option of a collaboration between the two companies remains on the option but stressed an agreement hasn't been made yet.

Volkswagen and Ford are currently in talks about jointly developing and producing light commercial vans for the European market. The deal would, presumably, twin the next-generation Ford Transit Connect and the Volkswagen Caddy's replacement. Diess sounded excited about the potential collaboration and didn't rule out taking it a step further.

"If the Ford relationship works out well, we would have an Amarok successor, which would be then appropriate for sales worldwide -- potentially as well for the United States," he said in an interview with Automotive News.

While it's too early to provide technical details, the Ford-Volkswagen model would most likely ride on a body-on-frame architecture. Volkswagen is open to catering to more lifestyle-oriented buyers and Diess hasn't ruled out building a unibody truck for the American market instead of joining forces with the Blue Oval.

"The other option is a unibody pickup, which is something for America, which is probably still a bit risky. On the other hand, you have to see that most of the SUVs have been transitioned in the last 20 years" to unibody construction. "I think, at some stage in the [midsize] pickups, the same thing will happen. ... I think unibody might make sense," he told Automotive News.

The Ford-based truck would replace the Amarok in global markets, including Europe, the Middle East, and Australia. Building it on the Ranger platform would make it legal in the United States, but Diess said it's not up to him to decide whether the model will be sold here.

"It's up to Scott," he said referring to Scott Keogh, the new head of Volkswagen's American division. His statement reflects the increasing amount of independence the company's U.S. division is getting from the mother ship in Wolfsburg, Germany.

Note: Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak concept pictured. Photo by Ronan Glon.