The CEO of the Volkswagen Group has seemingly confirmed he is keen for the next-generation Amarok bakkie to be built on Ford’s Ranger platform.

Speaking to Automotive News, Herbert Diess said “an Amarok successor” would be one of the outcomes of a “relationship” with the Blue Oval brand that “works out well”.

“There’s nothing signed yet with Ford. We are in talks,” Diess said, making reference to plans announced in June 2018 that the two automakers would enter “a strategic alliance”.

“Most of the talks have been centred around our light-duty vehicles – our small commercial vehicles business in Europe, where we found huge synergies. We are both relatively small in size against our peers, so what we’re talking about is sharing a few platforms and manufacturing sites there, which makes sense.

“And within the dialogue, we are also touching other options, but this will be the main focus if we come to a conclusion,” Diess told the US-based publication. “It feels good, and I hope we can conclude a case.”

Production of the Amarok, of course, started as long ago as 2010, so thoughts have started to turn to a second-generation version of the bakkie. VW would, of course, save on development costs by basing the next Amarok on the Ranger, since the former is the only body-on-frame vehicle in the Wolfsburg-based automotive group’s line-up.

“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,” Diess said.

“The other option is a unibody pickup, which is something for America, which is probably still a bit risky,” he added, referring to a possible production version of the Atlas Tanoak concept.