Back in 2016 we reviewed a partnership between Cosmopolitan magazine and little-known carmaker SEAT where the two brands co-developed a car designed specifically for women – or, more appropriately, specifically for stereotypes. Needless to say, it didn’t go well.
In the case of today’s video, we’re talking about Volkswagen and, while they didn’t exactly design their new pickup truck concept with American women in mind, some analysts are saying that a strategy where they promote it to women might be the best – or, perhaps, the only – way for the German company to break into the competitive U.S. light truck category.
VW unveiled its Atlas Tanoak unibody concept pickup at the New York Auto Show recently and suggested that the model is really more about showing off the flexibility of the company’s MQB platform. But Automotive News is suggesting that the writing is on the wall for Volkswagen, and the company “may need to build it” in order to reach an ambitious sales milestone – five percent of U.S. market share within 10 years, something they’ll be challenged to do without representation in the popular pickup category.
But it’s not as simple as just building it. That’s because the truck market is what Volkswagen of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken describes as a “very patriotic segment.” Add to that the fact that VW has trouble luring customers away from American brands.
But it appears the Atlas Tanoak is VW’s best shot at making this work. Remember that flexible MQB platform? Well, it allows VW to produce the truck at its under-capacity Chattanooga plant where it also produces the Atlas SUV. The two models also share the same powertrain.
An analyst at KBB.com told Automotive News that making a play for women just makes sense if you consider the size and styling of the Atlas Tanoak – it’s got a smooth ride, a stylish interior and, while 18 percent of trucks are purchased by women each year, no other automaker is targeting them with their marketing efforts in this category.
According to Automotive News, the company has said that the idea “warranted closer study.”