LOS ANGELES — Fulfilling the decades-old desire of Volkswagen's U.S. dealers to have a pickup to sell is now in the hands of a 53-year-old native Argentinian. After running the automaker's North America operations for just over two months, he believes that desire is valid.
Di Si believes any new pickup that VW potentially brings to market "needs to be electrified," but Thomas Schäfer, newly installed global head of the Volkswagen brand, says the specially designed "Rugged SUV" electric vehicle platform being developed for the nascent Scout brand is not in VW's future, at least not in this decade.
"At the moment, our focus on the lineup doesn't include it," Schäfer, who started his new job three months ago, told a small group of journalists at an off-site roundtable discussion before the Los Angeles auto show. "At the moment, we have a clear lineup all the way through the second half of this decade. Then again, in the American market, if you do not play in certain segments, then you have to stay in a certain market share area. But the question of [VW's new Rugged SUV platform] is not our priority at the moment."