A surprise announcement May 11 from Volkswagen AG about plans to build a Scout brand SUV and pickup in the U.S. has roiled the relationship between VW and many of its U.S. dealers, who were caught off guard. But while Scott Keogh, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, doesn't immediately have the answers dealers are looking for about Scout, he does believe that the VW brand is in the best position it has been in for a very, very long time.
Keogh, 53, spoke with Staff Reporter Larry P. Vellequette last month about plans for upcoming products, growth in the availability of ID4 compact EV crossovers in coming months as localized production begins, and his thoughts on ensuring VW keeps growing to eventually double its current market share. Here are edited excerpts.
Q: Is there anything you can tell us further about VW Group's plan for the Scout in the U.S.? Who will run it? How will they be retailed?
A: Everything that I know has been reported and you have reported it. 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. And I think the second thing, all of the answers will come when there is a Scout management team, that Scout management team comes in, meets the press and meets the markets and tells its story. And that's really all there is to say.