Volkswagen dealers were left angry, shocked and suspicious by surprise news that the brand's German parent plans to build a new company in the U.S. to sell an electric pickup and SUV under the Scout name, not least because Volkswagen AG was silent on how it intends to retail the vehicles.
The lack of information from Wolfsburg immediately after the May 11, announcement left some dealers wondering whether VW CEO Herbert Diess — who often speaks glowingly of Tesla and Elon Musk — might be looking to emulate Tesla's direct-sales model for Scout vehicles or set up new franchises that would bypass their stores.
"That's what it feels like to me," one VW dealer told Automotive News after the announcement, on condition of anonymity. "If we were going to have any involvement, they would have told us something. But they haven't said a word to us, either before or after the announcement."