Volkswagen’s highly awaited Tarok world pick-up, which could’ve potentially replaced the Saveiro in South America, is reportedly facing the axe before even going into production.
Shown as a concept at the Sao Paulo Motor Show two years ago, Wolfsburg’s South American division President, Pablo Di Si, in an interview with motor1.com Brazil, stated that financial constraints brought on by the Coronavirus, which has so far claimed the lives of over 76 000 and infected more than two million Brazilians, has impacted its plans in the form of halted investments and factory closures.
“With the pandemic and our cash flow, we will have to re-evaluate all investments, 100% of them. I’m not talking about cancelling [projects], but some will be delayed,” Di Si said, before remarking that the future of the Tarok is hanging in the balance as the division “will have to be very careful with our cash position this year and the next two to three years”.
According to the publication, Di Si remarked that the pandemic has cost the industry over R $ 50-billion (R156.1-billion) during the last three months, an amount allegedly equal to that of all of the relative manufactures’ total investments over four years.
Although the Tarok didn’t form part of that investment, a starting capital to commence with production seems unlikely to be found, with Di Si stating that it would be impossible to ask Wolfsburg for more money in order for the project to get off the ground.
At its debut, the Tarok, which rides on the same MQB A0 platform as the Polo, T-Cross and Nivus, came powered by a flex-fuel 1.4 TSI engine outputting 110kW/200Nm, fed to all four wheels via a six-speed Tiptronic ‘box. A 2.0 TDI was mentioned for export markets, which could have resulted in it being offered in South Africa given the ‘world’ designation alluding to the availability of right-hand-drive.
In concept guise, the Tarok featured a rated payload of 1 000 kg and an expandable loadbed similar to what Chevrolet offered on the long since discontinued Avalanche in North America, which saw the partition between it and the cab having the ability to lower in order to accommodate long cargo. With the tailgate opened, the total bed size measured 2.7 m.
While it was expected to go into production in November and rival the Fiat Toro, top-spec versions of the new Strada and possibly even the South Africa bound Renault Duster Orch, it now appears more certain to bow in 2022, but only if matters improve and a decision confirming its axing is not made before then.
Back in February, Volkswagen confirmed that development costs, as well as a lack of sufficient capability, had contributed in its decision not to put the unibody Atlas Tanoak into production as the anticipated rival for the Honda Ridgeline, and soon the Hyundai Santa Cruz, in North America.