What initially started as a rumour about the iconic International Scout getting an electric reboot has quickly become reality. Volkswagen Group confirmed that it will create a new Scout brand for the US market, building an electric truck and SUV that will enter production in 2026.
"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," said VW CEO Herbert Diess. "Electrification provides a historic opportunity to enter the highly attractive pickup and R-SUV segment as a group, underscoring our ambition to become a relevant player in the US market."
VW isn't simply creating Scout badges for existing models. A brief press release on the subject states a new, independent company will be established and tasked with creating these vehicles. That includes everything from designing and engineering prototypes to manufacturing production-spec vehicles. The company's name will be Scout, and it has four years to make all of this happen.
The first step is to actually establish the company, which VW says will take place later this year. Prototypes for the new Scout pickup and SUV will follow in 2024, and if everything stays on schedule, production models will be on the road in 2026. Where they will be built is unknown, though VW says the company and its operations will be based in the US. The electric Scout vehicles will use a "new technical platform concept" so it seems this endeavour isn't starting completely from scratch.
"The company we will establish this year will be a separate unit and brand within the Volkswagen Group to be managed independently," said VW CFO Arno Antlitz. "This aligns with the new group steering model - small units that act agilely and have access to our tech platforms to leverage synergies."
Off-road enthusiasts are likely familiar with the classic International Harvester Scout. Built from the early 1960s through 1980, it was a competitor to Jeep and available as either a small SUV or pickup truck. In addition to passenger vehicles, International Harvester manufactured a range of machinery including tractors, farm equipment, engines, and semi-trucks. The company closed in 1985, with the semi-truck division surviving as Navistar International. Volkswagen purchased Navistar International through its Traton heavy truck group in 2020.