The electric rebirth of Scout, the classic off-road SUV brand, becomes real this week when Volkswagen appoints Scott Keogh as CEO of its new spin-off company. The former head of VW Group America, as initially reported by axiosinsisted that VW start a new electric truck line after seeing a fully restored vintage Scout: “the rights to the brand were just there,” Keogh said.
VW acquired the Scout brand through a 2020 merger of its commercial trucking company Traton with Navistar, which the German automaker initially bought a portion of in 2016. In May, it was reported that VW Group is ready to pump $1 billion into the new Scout brand. and set targets to sell a quarter of a million electric off-roaders under the name every year from 2026.
With Keogh now in charge of Scout, Volkswagen’s board of directors in Chattanooga, Tennessee has transferred all North American responsibilities for VW to current VW South American boss Pablo Di Si. “Now is the time to focus more on the US market and the US customer, and one piece of the puzzle is definitely Scout,” said Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group. axios in an interview. The company said it will develop “True American” electric SUVs and pickup trucks, according to the report, as it tries to rebuild a reputation that took a hit from the “Dieselgate” emissions scandal.
VW hopes Scout will be the answer to double its 5 percent electric vehicle market share in the US; the automaker hit a roadblock this year after selling all of its EV offerings — including ID.4 and Audi E-trons — before 2022. In his past life, Scout built an off-road SUV to compete with Jeep in the 1960s, and has now been reborn as a company that can thrive separately from VW (and maybe go public on its own) so it can try to absorb it. against electric SUVs and trucks that remain a popular category in the US.
It remains to be seen whether Scout will design boxy retro-looking SUVs like the indefinitely delayed Bollinger B1/B2 and Hummer EV or whether it will follow the trends of other mid-sized and compact SUVs with worn-out nameplates like the Ford Mustang Mach-E. and the new Chevy Blazer. One thing’s for sure: The company is said to be working on vehicles suitable for camping, off-roading or work use — a clear indication that Ford’s F-150 Lightning and the Rivian R1T electric pickups are top targets.