It will build two new all-electric off-roaders.
Volkswagen-owned Scout Motors has announced its first assembly plant, set to build its all-electric SUVs and trucks, will be a $2 billion facility near Columbia, South Carolina. Volkswagen announced plans in May of 2022 to revive the classic brand, and it seems things are moving fast.
At one point, rumors abounded that Volkswagen was in talks with Foxconn and Magna Steyr to open a factory, but it appears that the German automaker has set the Scout brand free with its own facility. According to Scout, groundbreaking is planned for mid-2023, and production should begin by the end of 2026.
We're particularly excited as Scout plans to build its vehicles predominantly with off-roading in mind and exploit the benefits of electric power and control while doing so. Both an SUV and a truck are planned, both riding on an all-new platform and will directly compete with the Rivian R1S and R1T. Plus, it will be an American-based brand with its home in a state that has become all about car production. South Carolina is already home to over 500 automotive-related companies, including BMW and Volvo, and the most prominent US exporter of passenger vehicles and tires.
The site Scout has chosen covers 1,600 acres, just 20 miles north of Columbia, and is close to major highways and ports, as well as talent pools that include automotive engineering-based universities.
"We're honored to partner with South Carolina to usher in this new era for Scout," said Scott Keogh, President and CEO of Scout Motors. "Scout has been an American icon since introducing an SUV in 1960. It's the vehicle that took your family on a camping trip, that gave access to the great outdoors, and that showed up on the job site every morning. Today, we're reimagining Scout's original ingenuity and electrifying its future. We're bringing the Scout spirit to South Carolina and it's going to be a hell of a ride."
The only people that aren't excited about the Scout brand revival, it appears, are Volkswagen dealers. But, Scout is an independent company that's backed by the Volkswagen Group and doesn't answer to the namesake brand. VW dealers have been clamoring for a truck and possibly more SUVs for a few years now. VW is still planning a truck of its own, which will not be fully combustion-powered, as CarBuzz exclusively reported last month. Scout will be an all-electric vehicle-only brand.
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