Volkswagen Group's proposed $3.7 billion bid to acquire the assets of Navistar International could eventually have interesting implications for SUV and pickup fans — as well as dealers.
The International brand didn't always just make semitrucks, school buses and other large vehicles. It was an SUV pioneer that had the misfortune of exiting the consumer market just before utility vehicle sales exploded in the early 1980s, when the company was known as International Harvester.
The Scout, manufactured from 1961 to 1980, was a two-door, soft-top SUV that rivaled the Jeep Wrangler and the original Ford Bronco. The Travelall, built from 1953 to 1975, was a high-riding SUV designed for off-road family excursions long before that was a cool pursuit.
And International Harvester brand pickups were sold from 1907 to 1975.
Volkswagen has a lineup of utility vehicles, but let's be honest: They are not exactly flying off dealer lots.
It just isn't a brand one thinks of when it comes to seriously capable off-road vehicles.