VW has been flirting with entering the EV pickup market; Volkswagen Group of America CEO Scott Keogh called it "the chance of a lifetime." Well, now it's happening, officially: VW is creating a new brand, Scout, that will build an electric truck and a rugged electric SUV in America for the American market.
Scout is a nod to the International Harvester Scout, an iconic, boxy off-roader from the 1970s. VW has had access to the Scout name after its truck subsidiary Traton merged with Navstar, the company that held the trademark. And the initial teaser photos of the potential products look like fantastic, boxy, electric interpretations of the original Scout.
VW did offer some details about the upcoming Scouts. The brand will be all-electric, and build both a truck and an SUV. The vehicles will run on a new VW Group truck platform. The new company will unveil prototypes later this year, and production will begin in 2026.
A critical factor in Scout's favor may be pricing. Volkswagen Group of America's COO informally floated the idea of a revived Scout brand to journalists last fall. The gist was a Rivian-style truck and SUV brand, but coming in at a more accessible $40,000 price point rather than a $70,000 one. There will likely be electric Jeep Wrangler, Ford Bronco and Toyota Tacoma vehicles on sale by 2026, but we don't know how affordable they will be.
The reasoning behind Scout is full-proof. VW's revamped strategy in America has given Americans exactly what they want — namely the Tiguan and Atlas crossovers. Americans love trucks and off-roaders. All signs point to Americans wanting electric ones soon. Electric off-road trucks and SUVs is a no-brainer.
And while we've seen a lot of cool EV truck startups, Scout should have a clear leg up on getting actual vehicles to production. Silicon Valley has conditioned us to fetishize innovation and technology. But scaling up to mass-produce cars is incredibly hard. Tesla has fought through serious difficulties and remains very much the outlier. Being able to draw on the engineering, resources, production know-how and supplier relationships of the Volkswagen Group is a massive advantage.