The electric rebirth of Scout, the classic off-road SUV brand, will be real this week as Volkswagen appoints Scott Keogh as CEO of the new spinoff company. The former head of VW Group America, as originally reported by Axiospushed for VW to launch a new electric truck line after seeing a fully restored vintage scout: “the rights to the brand were there,” Keogh said.
VW acquired the Scout brand through a merger in 2020 of the commercial truck company Traton with Navistar, of which the German carmaker originally bought a part in 2016. In May, it was reported that VW Group is willing to pump $ 1 billion into the new The Scout brand and set a goal of selling a quarter of a million electric off-road riders under the name annually from 2026 onwards.
With Keogh now leading the Scout, Volkswagen’s board in Chattanooga, Tennessee, placed all VW North American responsibilities on the current South American VW boss Pablo Di Si. “It’s time to focus more on the US market and the US customer, and one piece in the puzzle is clearly Scout,” says Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess Axios in an interview. The company said it would develop “real American” electric SUVs and pickups, according to the report, while trying to restore a reputation that was hit by the “Dieselgate” emissions scandal.
VW hopes Scout will be the answer to doubling its 5 percent US market share of electric vehicles; the carmaker hit a roadblock this year after selling out all of its electric car offerings – ID.4 and Audi E-tron included – for 2022. In his previous life, Scout built an all-terrain SUV to compete with Jeep in the 1960s and is now reborn as a company that could flourish separately from VW (and perhaps be listed itself) so that it could try to go head to head with electric SUVs and trucks that are still a popular category in the United States.
It remains to be seen whether Scout will design boxed retro-looking SUVs, such as the Bollinger B1 / B2 and Hummer EV that are delayed indefinitely, or whether it will follow the trends of other medium-sized and compact SUVs with well-worn nameplates like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the new Chevy Blazer. One thing is for sure: the company is said to work with vehicles that are good for camping, off-road driving or used for work – a clear indication that Ford’s F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T electric pickups are top targets.