The managing director of Volkswagen Australia says he is confident the Amarok will fend off any challenge from the upcoming Mercedes-Benz bakkie, adding that the German pickup will be “hiding behind the luxury badge”.
VW’s Michael Bartsch told CarAdvice that he wasn’t losing any sleep over the Stuttgart automaker’s impending entry into the increasingly competitive double-cab segment with its Navara-based bakkie.
“I think that Mercedes is based on a Nissan, isn’t it? That’s going to be a very expensive Nissan,” Bartsch told the Australian publication.
“Jokes aside, I think it’s good if Mercedes joins in – it’s better for everybody, because it adds more weight in terms of voice in the segment. We’ve always seen that with sports cars – the more people participating in the sports car segment, the healthier the sports car segment becomes and the demand increases,” he explained.
Bartsch added that he had full confidence in the facelifted Amarok fending off any new challenges.
“Volkswagen has never been shy of a challenge, and Volkswagen’s position will always be that we certainly won’t be the most expensive, but in terms of product quality and substance and engineering, I’m absolutely convinced the Amarok will always stand up and be comparable to brands that hide behind the luxury badge and charge too much money,” he told CarAdvice.
The Volkswagen executive also revealed that he expected the new 3,0-litre V6 engine option to help set the Amarok range apart from rival line-ups.
“I drove the V6 a couple of days ago, and really … if you closed your eyes you would think you’re driving a Touareg. That engine is just a really sweet engine, and it’s an incredibly smooth diesel,” he said.