VW: Electric Volkswagen Amarok SUV needed to justify any battery ute

German brand Volkswagen considers U-turn on producing its own version of the Ford Everest large SUV – as a battery 4WD twin to an electric Amarok

2023 Volkswagen Amarok Aventura Press 3


  • Electric SUV needed to justify investment in electric Amarok
  • VW's Scout EV brand focused on US market
  • Would be based on an as-yet-confirmed electric Ford Everest

Volkswagen is considering a battery-electric SUV based on the Amarok ute after previously deciding against its own version of the Ranger-based Ford Everest.

The second-generation Amarok was co-developed with the latest Ford Ranger that again spawned a Ford Everest large SUV.

The potential change of heart has been driven by ultra-strict emissions regulations that the European Commission wants to introduce in July 2025.

December 7: NEW AMAROK DRIVEN! Words & Video

We've finally driven the new-gen 2023 Volkswagen Amarok, with Jez jetting (Jet jezzing?) to South Africa for a world's-first spin in the new ute. Get our full story below.

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VW: Electric Volkswagen Amarok SUV needed to justify any battery ute

4 X 4 Australia Reviews 2022 2023 Ford Everest Sport 31
2023 Ford Everest

VW is planning an electric version of its Amarok ute and the company says an SUV spin-off for its passenger-car division would be vital for the business case.

“[A rugged wagon-body vehicle] was not a scope of the previous [commercial vehicle partnership] negotiations [with Ford], so it was really what we were telling them we are not interested in [that style of vehicle]," said Petr Sulc, a senior member of VW’s global product management team

“[But] I can imagine that if we should approach [Ford] for the battery-electric vehicle, that [the SUV] is having sense.

2023 Volkswagen Amarok Pan America 44

“Why? Because you will not be able to fulfil the volume requirement to utilise the investment only with one type of the car.

“If you have a look at Everest and Ranger, they are 80 per cent similar. The front and side are the same, the platform is the same. You are having the better [production and sales] scale if you offer two areas [of segment].”

It would invariably mean there would also need to be an electric Ford Everest, though Ford Australia has remained coy about electrified versions of its locally developed SUV and its Ranger ute twin.

2023 Volkswagen Amarok Pan America 18

The VW Group has recently announced a revival of the Scout 4WD brand, which will produce electric utes and SUVs in North America, likely using a third party. Sulc, however, said Scout was a specific strategy for the US market where Volkswagen has struggled for market share.

“The approach of this Scout [brand] is really to come to the US market, because it is for us something completely new,” he said. “We have never had any pick-up in the [North American] pickup market. It was the kind of the dream.

“The problem of the US market [for car makers] is that in the C segment [full-size pick-up category featuring likes of Ford F-150] they are very patriotic, and the Americans are not willing to buy anything that is not produced in US. So, this is the reason that I think that if you would really progress with our transformation and to bring more volumes for US, we should go the direction of Scout and the C pick-up.

2023 F 150 Lightning Lariat Off Road 03
2023 Ford F-150 Lightning

“In the B-segment [Ford Ranger mid-sized pick-up category], Americans are more open-minded to foreign manufacturers, but to develop a completely new ladderframe car is not a simple job. And now that the Scout brand now has the clear task to focus on the C segment, I'm not sure if they will have a lot of capacity for also developing the B segment.”

Asked if there was any potential for a third-generation Amarok to be derived from a Scout model, Sulc said there were additional complexities, such as European import taxes applied to vehicles built in the US.

This would be less of an issue for Australian imports thanks to our free trade agreement with the US.


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