After years of dealer desire, Volkswagen Group on Wednesday confirmed that it will launch a U.S.-based Scout subbrand for an all-new "rugged" electric pickup and SUV that will be on a new platform and unlike anything else in the German automaker's massive global portfolio.
VW Group will build a "separate, independent company" to resurrect the Scout name, which it acquired last year as part of its heavy-truck subsidiary's purchase of Navistar. The German automaker said it plans to show its first prototypes next year and start production in 2026, though details of where remain unclear.
"After Volkswagen's successful turnaround in the U.S., we are now taking the opportunity to further strengthen our position in one of the most significant growth markets for EVs," VW Group CEO Herbert Diess said in a statement. "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 U.S. market."
The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday evening first reported that the group's supervisory board was making the move.
Diess believes that the German automaker can hold a 10 percent market share across all of its brands in the U.S., and tasked VW of America CEO Scott Keogh with making that happen by the end of the decade. Keogh has previously said that it would be difficult to hit that target without "playing" in the pickup segment, which represents about 15 percent of the overall U.S. market.
VW Group CFO Arno Antlitz said that Scout "will be a separate unit and brand within the Volkswagen Group to be managed independently. This aligns with the new group steering model — small units that act agilely and have access to our tech platforms to leverage synergies."