Everyone is stuck on $40k figure from OP. It's an add from some site, not VW pricing.
I'm sure they are not dumb enough to price so high, nor dumb enough to think they will take over the truck market. There is enough of market for small trucks in US. People who want a bed and some tow capacity that don't want. A big.
I would deff look into one if they ever become available.
When we were in Southern Africa last month, we saw quite a few of these trucks roaming around. These trucks make a lot of sense over there--there's a ton of Toyota Hiluxes driven for both work and personal usage, not to mention a fair number of Hyundai H100/Kia K2700s as well that are for work duty. VW needed a real truck to get into those markets, to get market share back from Toyota and get the jump on the Koreans, who will inevitably have to develop a similarly-sized pick up of their own. In places like Namibia, where German is more or less the second language, I could see this being huge, especially among the commercial fleets that rent pick-ups to predominantly German tourists.
I'm sure the same holds true for Brazil.
In the US, it's a tough sell. Truck buyers are immensely loyal, and the idea they'll switch from Chevrolet or Toyota to VW is hard to believe. Furthermore, the market for this size of pick-ups is small, and isn't necessarily showing growth. GM is taking a real risk bringing the new Colorado here. I can't see the profit-driven VWoA making the same gamble.
I would buy one yesterday if they were available. I've come close to pulling the trigger on a beater pickup several times because I hate borrowing or renting a truck when i need one. A new Amarok tdi could be my next daily driver. Something I couldn't say about any other current new pickup offering.
People just need to be convinced that a high MPG truck with a VW interior, excellent road manners, and a real payload capacity makes sense.
I think the subset of half ton owners that couldn't have their needs met by the Amarok is less than 50%, which makes it a huge market.
Until now though, I don't think VW's marketing is good at anything but marketing to people who are already in the VW demographic. Marketing a new demographic will be a whole different challenge.
But i think swallow has a good point about loyalty which i believe is demonstrated by poor sales of the ridgeline which is marketed as a car-like equivalent to the standard truck. And if honda isn't selling a ton of these can vw? I know people are really taking notice of Vw because of the jetta and passat but it's questionable if the amarok would have a similar appeal to buyers in the us.
A smaller truck will drive better, be more efficient, and easier to handle on and off road.
The Amarok offers better payload, far better fuel consumption, better off-road capability, and better road manners than any half ton quad cab. If you don't need the larger bed or greater than 10,000 lbs tow capacity of the full sized half tons, the Amarok is better in most respects.
6-speed manual is a nice bonus.
If Toyota brought a HiLux here or Chevy the new global Colorado, I'd be OK with that too. The VW just happens to be the best of the bunch at the moment.