Volkswagen’s new Amarok pickup truck will go into production in Argentina before the end of this year and vehicles will begin to be exported from the first quarter of 2010.

The pickups will be shipped mainly to Brazil, Germany, South Africa and Australia, according to VW Argentina spokesman Ronnie Frost.

Amerok means wolf in inuit Eskimo, although it also translates into ‘he loves stones’ in some languages spoken in South America.

It will be produced at VW’s Pacheco plant near Buenos Aires in Argentina and launched first in South America in early 2010, followed by Central America in spring 2010, then Russia and Europe in the summer,

The company has invested about US$340m at its plant in the country, partly to modify local assembly lines. Rival vehicles in the region include models by Toyota and Nissan and VW Argentina said it expects to close 2009 as the leading vehicle maker in the country, with a market share of between 26% and 28% of a total annual production estimated at 500,000 units.