German automaker Volkswagen is hoping to capitalize on Americans’ appetite for throwback-style off-roaders by reviving the Scout brand for a new series of battery-electric trucks and SUVs.
Top brass at Volkswagen approved the new Scout sub-brand during a meeting held Wednesday, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Scout nameplate will operate as a new VW sub-brand in North America, similar to the VW, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini and Bentley brands that it sells in the U.S. and Canada. The first models marketed under the Scout brand will be a battery-electric pickup, along with a large battery-electric SUV.
VW acquired the rights to the Scout nameplate when it bought out American truck manufacturer Navistar International Corp. in 2020. Navistar was established in 1986 as a continuation of the International Harvester company, which went out of business the year prior following years of financial hardship. International Harvester manufactured the International Scout, a sturdy body-on-frame SUV that was sold in various iterations between 1960 and 1981.
Sources familiar with VW’s plans told WSJ this plan is still in its infancy. VW first needs to create a U.S. management team for Scout before establishing a design team and finalizing the designs for the truck and SUV models. The Scout vehicles would likely also require their own separate manufacturing facilities with different machines and tooling, as they will not have much in common with current VW models from a mechanical standpoint.
An EV-focused Scout brand would serve as a direct competitor to GM’s own off-road-ready electric models. It’s not clear what price point the Scout vehicles will occupy, however WSJ’s sources said these vehicles will be mid-sized rather than full-sized and would therefore not compete with large American offerings like the Ford F-150 Lightning or Chevy Silverado EV.
The source also said VW hopes to sell as many as 250,000 vehicles a year under the Scout brand, with production set to commence in 2026.