Diess this week was in Davos, Switzerland, committing to have a site chosen by the end of this year for a multibillion-dollar U.S. assembly plant and likely an accompanying battery plant. At the same time, his VW dealers in the U.S. and their allies were peppering VW Group of America with questions about how Scout vehicles will be retailed.
In an exclusive interview on Friday, Scott Keogh, CEO of VW Group of America, offered what clarifications he could, specifically as Scout relates to the VW brand in the U.S.
"Everything that I know has been reported and you have reported it," Keogh said. "First and foremost, Scout is and always was a unique and distinctly American brand — big-time Americana — so it won't be operated through the Volkswagen brand. In fact, it won't be operated through Volkswagen Group of America. It will be operated independently."
Keogh said that answers about Scout — which VW Group acquired the rights to when its Traton truck unit acquired Navistar International Corp in 2021 — "will come when there is a Scout management team, that team comes in and meets the press and meets the markets and tells its story. And that's really all there is to say."
Keogh also clarified that potential spending by parent VW Group setting up the Scout brand in the U.S. will be separate from the $7.1 billion that the VW brand committed in March to spend in the U.S. on electrification and other efforts. He also said that the new "rugged" EV platform being developed for Scout by VW "could definitely provide an opportunity for non-Scout vehicles," but he declined to elaborate.