VW's Scout Electric Off-Roaders Might Get Built by Foxconn, With Magna Also in the Cards

Volkswagen’s Scout electric off-roaders might be built by Foxconn 6 photos
Photo: Scout
Scout Motors' renderings of its future vehicles: an electric SUV and an electric pickup truckScout Motors' rendering of its future electric SUVScout Motors' rendering of its future electric pickup truckScout Motors homepageScout Communities
Volkswagen has promised to revive the Scout brand as an EV-only manufacturer of off-road vehicles. Since it lacks a suitable platform for the planned off-roaders, Volkswagen seeks a partner to build future Scout models in the U.S., with Foxconn and Magna Steyr as possible options.
Americans cheered when Volkswagen announced the intention to revive the Scout brand. Known for the very competent off-roaders sold under the International Harvester brand, Scout would be Volkswagen’s crown jewel in the U.S. market. A pickup truck, asked for by dealers and customers for a long time, should boost Volkswagen’s U.S. market share.

Unfortunately, the German brand does not have anything like that in its portfolio. The only pickup it sells, the compact Amarok, is only available in Europe as a rebadged Ford Ranger. Even electrified, the Amarok would be unfit to bear the Scout name. The alternative would be to ask Ford politely to offer the F-150 Lightning as a base, but it would still not be the hardcore off-roader Scout plans. Or, commission the Scout EVs development to a third-party company.

It looks like the latter is now at the top of Volkswagen’s options list. According to a report by Automotive News’ sister publication Automobilwoche, the German company is reportedly in talks with Foxconn and Magna Steyr. Foxconn has big ambitions as a contract manufacturer after buying Lordstown’s factory in Ohio and building vehicles for Lordstown and Fisker. A Volkswagen contract will offer a much-needed boost to its operations. Foxconn has another advantage, the Model V pickup truck, which it intends to build in the U.S. for an unspecified customer.

On the other hand, Magna Steyr is a reputable contract manufacturer with a strong portfolio. The Austria-based company owned by Canada’s Magna International is considering opening a plant in the U.S., and Scout could be its first client here. Magna could also help Volkswagen develop the future Scout vehicles, a perk that Foxconn, with its limited experience in building vehicles, cannot offer.

For now, Volkswagen does not want to comment on “speculations about possible partnerships.” The German carmaker will need all the help it can get because it doesn’t have the know-how to build a tough American pickup truck and its MEB electrical platform is surely unsuitable for such a task. Meanwhile, developing a new body-on-frame electrical platform from scratch could prove too costly.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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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.
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