VW's leadership shakeup will help Scout tackle Ford in new segments.
It's perhaps quite strange that one of the world's automotive giants, Volkswagen, doesn't have a single truck or off-road-biased SUV to challenge the likes of Ford, Toyota, and Chevrolet in the United States. Crossovers like the Atlas and Taos are more suited to the school run than anything else, but this could all change imminently under the newly established Scout name. In May, we reported on Volkswagen's revival of the Scout brand and its intention to develop both a pickup and a rugged SUV for the American market. Unlike the International Harvester Scout, the new ones will rely on electric power alone. These plans have now progressed as VW's Scout spinoff officially has a new CEO.
Scott Keogh (pictured above), President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America and CEO of Volkswagen North American Region, has been appointed the President and CEO of Scout, a newly established subsidiary of VW. This leadership shakeup will also see Pablo Di Si, Executive Chairman of Volkswagen South American Region, assume Keogh's prior roles so that the Scout brand gets the attention it deserves. These changes are effective from September 1.
"Scott Keogh and Pablo Di Si both have played key roles in turning around the businesses in their respective regions, North America and South America," said Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess and added: "In their future positions, they will be pivotal in helping the Group seize the historic market opportunities in the US, taking our growth strategy in the region to the next level."
For Americans, the progression of the Scout brand is great news. Volkswagen emphasized the development of a "true American" pickup and a rugged SUV with fully electric powertrains. This will presumably give VW a competitor to either the Ford F-150 Lightning or Ranger Lightning (depending on the size of the Scout electric pickup) and likely an electric alternative to the Bronco.
Keogh is an excellent candidate to take the Scout brand into the electric era as he oversaw the arrival of the VW ID.4 and Audi e-tron in North America, as well as the upcoming ID.Buzz. None of these are capable off-roaders, though, which is why Scout is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this gap in VW's portfolio.
The Scout brand will help the Volkswagen Group realize its goal of having more than 25 EV models by 2030.