Everything We Know About Volkswagen's Revived Scout Brand Points to a Start-Up Approach

Volkswagen's revived Scout will be an independently run U.S. brand to produce rugged EVs 6 photos
Photo: gentility_88/instagram
Volkswagen will revive Scout as an EV off-roading brand in the U.S.Volkswagen will revive Scout as an EV off-roading brand in the U.S.Modern International Harvester Scout Electric renderingModern International Harvester Scout Electric renderingModern International Harvester Scout Electric rendering
Volkswagen has confirmed the earlier rumors about the revival of the Scout brand and has offered details about its intentions. Not everything has been cleared out though and a lot of things are still speculations at this point, but what we know so far indicates that the German brand starts to take the U.S. market seriously this time.
Volkswagen’s U.S. adventure is a prime example of monumental failure. Having the hearts and wallets of the Americans with the Beetle and the Microbus in the ’50s, Volkswagen somehow botched it all with the following generations of Vanagons, Eurovans, and Rabbits. Even today, despite having a plant in Chattanooga, Volkswagen can’t find much to brag about its American endeavor.

There are many reasons why Volkswagen did not crack the U.S. market. From “overengineering” its vehicles to the lack of a proper truck to take on the Big Detroit Three, there are plenty of excuses. In the end, everything is about not getting what the U.S. customers really want. The good news is that Volkswagen is willing to learn, and the Scout revival might be exactly the missing ingredient to succeed.

The first thing that Volkswagen is doing differently this time is using a name that is iconic for the U.S. not least for its formidable off-roaders. Secondly, Volkswagen will create a separate, independent company to make the revived Scout brand successful. More important than that, Volkswagen is willing to put a long leash on the new company, which will operate as an independent entity under the Volkswagen Group umbrella. This is the same as Audi or Porsche.

Although the first rumors only made waves a couple of days ago, Volkswagen of America executives hinted at the revival of the Scout brand a year ago. It is clear that Volkswagen only made its intentions official now, but things were in motion long before that. That’s why the announcement that Scout will have a prototype ready as early as next year does not come as a surprise. Mind you, Volkswagen will not use its existing EV platform to build it.

Everything about Scout will be new for Volkswagen, although it might not necessarily be entirely new. The long-time partnership with Ford might indicate that Scout could use some of Ford’s know-how in electric vehicles. The F-150 Lightning looks like a strong offering in the EV truck segment, we can’t see why Volkswagen would want to reinvent the wheel.

Not only the architecture would be new for Volkswagen, but also the sales model for the electric truck and SUV that Scout will produce as early as 2026. This has become obvious as Volkswagen’s plans regarding the Scout brand were not discussed with the company’s dealers association, as confirmed by Automotive News yesterday. This indicates Volkswagen might want a direct-sale model, similar to what other EV makers use in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Every detail that we have learned so far points to a start-up mindset for the new Scout entity. This should allow for a more agile execution of the company’s plans, something that Volkswagen was not able to achieve previously. This would not only enable Volkswagen to take a path that the German behemoth dared not, but will also open the faucet to private investors to finance the new company, without any burden on Volkswagen’s coffers.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Cristian Agatie
Cristian Agatie profile photo

After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories