The electrical rebirth of Scout, the traditional off-road SUV model, is getting actual this week as Volkswagen names Scott Keogh as CEO of its new spinoff firm. The previous head of VW Group America, as initially reported by Axios, pushed for VW to begin a brand new electrical truck line after seeing a totally restored classic Scout: “the rights to the model had been simply sitting there,” Keogh mentioned.
VW acquired the Scout model via a 2020 merger of its business trucking firm Traton with Navistar, which the German automaker initially purchased a part of in 2016. In Could, it was reported that VW Group is keen to pump $1 billion into the brand new Scout model and set objectives to promote 1 / 4 million electrical off-roaders underneath the identify yearly beginning in 2026.
With Keogh now main Scout, Volkswagen’s administration board in Chattanooga, Tennessee, positioned all VW North American tasks on present South American VW head Pablo Di Si. “It’s time now to pay attention extra on the US market and the US buyer, and one piece of the puzzle, for positive, is Scout,” Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess tells Axios in an interview. The corporate mentioned it can develop “True American” electrical SUVs and pickup vehicles, based on the report, because it makes an attempt to revive a popularity that took successful from the “Dieselgate” emissions scandal.
VW hopes that Scout would be the reply to double its 5 p.c US market share of electrical autos; the automaker hit a roadblock this yr after promoting out of all its EV choices — ID.4 and Audi E-trons included — for 2022. In its earlier life, Scout constructed an off-road SUV to compete with Jeep within the Nineteen Sixties and is now reborn as an organization that may flourish individually from VW (and maybe go public itself) so it might try to go face to face with electrical SUVs and vehicles that stay a well-liked class within the US.
It stays to be seen if Scout will design boxy retro-looking SUVs just like the indefinitely delayed Bollinger B1 / B2 and Hummer EV or if it’ll observe the traits of different midsize and compact SUVs with well-worn nameplates just like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the brand new Chevy Blazer. One factor is for positive: the corporate is alleged to be engaged on autos which might be good for tenting, off-roading, or used for work — a transparent indication that Ford’s F-150 Lightning and the Rivian R1T electrical pickups are prime targets.