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Volkswagen will launch a new sub-brand to build electric off-roaders and utes, reviving the famous Scout nameplate from the 1960s and ‘70s. The first concept for this new range of models is due to be revealed in 2023, with the first production model scheduled for a 2026 launch.
At present this new Scout brand is only confirmed for the US market, where it will allow the German giant to compete against the likes of the Ford F-150 Lightning, GMC Hummer SUV and Rivian R1T. However, while it’s too early to know if the brand will be available in right-hand drive, the proposed line-up would certainly have appeal to a local audience.
Volkswagen is setting up Scout to be a USA-based company, which will design, engineer and manufacture all models stateside. It will also have its own management team that will allow it to be run independently from Volkswagen’s US operations.
Volkswagen AG CEO Herbert Diess explained the reasoning for this new direction for the brand.
“After Volkswagen’s successful turnaround in the US, we are now taking the opportunity to further strengthen our position in one of the most significant growth markets for EVs,” Mr Diess said. “Electrification provides a historic opportunity to enter the highly attractive pick-up and R-SUV segment as a Group, underscoring our ambition to become a relevant player in the US market.”
Exactly how Volkswagen will create this new brand and what platform it will use for the two announced models remains unclear. Interestingly, though, the news comes just weeks after Ford confirmed it has plans for a second electric ute.
Speaking at the start of production of the all-electric F-150 Lightning in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford’s global CEO, Jim Farley, confirmed more models were on the way.
“This is not our only truck,” Mr Farley told the audience.
While there’s been no official confirmation what model it will be, early speculation is that it will be an electric version of the Ranger. It’s expected to be manufactured at Ford's Blue Oval City, a huge factory that will build both the F-150 Lightning and its batteries that’s under construction in Tennessee.
Given Ford and Volkswagen’s existing deal to share development and production of the new-generation Ranger and Amarok, there are seemingly opportunities for Ford to help with the creation of the new Scout range with its expanding line-up of electric utes.