A South African executive working for Volkswagen in North America has suggested the Atlas Tanoak concept won’t make it to production.

Speaking to Autoblog, Hein Schafer, senior vice-president for product and strategy at VW Group of America, hinted the bakkie concept was highly unlikely to become a production reality.

The SA-born executive explained that despite the concept being very "well received", creating a production version with a competitive enough "capability" would require too large a development investment.

Schafer told the publication that while VW could likely build something to compete with the (also unibody) Honda Ridgeline in terms of overall capability, that model accounted for a small part of the market in the United States. And competing for a thin slice of a small pie simply doesn't make sense.

Of course, VW has already signed a deal with Ford (as part or a broader global alliance) for the Blue Oval brand to develop and build the successor to the Amarok, basing it on the next-generation Ranger.

Interestingly, though, Schafer added the smaller Tarok concept was more likely to make it to production than the Atlas Tanoak since competition in its segment would not be nearly as fierce. In addition, he suggested the Tarok would be marketed as a lifestyle vehicle rather than an out-and-out workhorse.

The Atlas Tanoak concept was revealed in New York in March 2018, while the Tarok (likewise employing a unibody configuration) followed in November that year at the São Paulo International Motor Show.