Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: VW Taro – VW Tries Building A Rebadged Toyota HiLux

When I first glanced at this shot by Roshake77, I thought somebody had just slapped a VW badge on their Toyota pickup. Well, that’s essentially what VW did with their Taro, but they actually built them too, in their Hanover plant in Germany. True confessions: I’d rather forgotten about that. Well, the 1989 joint venture to give VW a one-ton truck to round out its line wasn’t exactly a hit, and it petered out in 1997, due to low sales.


VW only built regular cab 2×4 diesel versions, from 1989 to 1994. That year VW showed an extended cab 4×4, but it was built by Toyota in Japan. Presumably they wanted to expand into the growing recreational market from the strictly utilitarian one.

These were one-ton trucks, with a payload rating of 1125 kg, or 2480 lbs. This one looks to be still in front line service in scenic Sarti, Greece. It is a Toyota, after all.