Volkswagen Group’s new Scout Motors rugged EV brand on Friday confirmed plans for a $2 billion factory in South Carolina due to begin producing vehicles in 2026, starting with an electric SUV targeting a base price of around $40,000.
Located about 20 miles from the state capital of Columbia, the factory is projected to produce 200,000 vehicles annually when at full capacity, and will create at least 4,000 permanent jobs.
The first Scout model under VW’s aegis, to be unveiled in 2024, will be a “rugged utility vehicle” or “RUV,” Scout CEO Scott Keogh said in an interview with TechCrunch. Keogh, who leads the electric Scout resurrection after a stint as head of the VW Group in North America, said the utility vehicle will be followed “in quick succession” by a larger electric pickup truck.
In the interview, Keogh also said the utility vehicle will target a base price in the $40,000 range, while the pickup will be “a bit north of there.”
Teaser for Scout SUV concept
Those plans roughly match what VW said last May when it announced the Scout brand. That announcement included plans for an off-road pickup and SUV inspired by the International Harvester Scout, a classic off-roader produced from 1960 to 1981. VW acquired the rights to the Scout name with its purchase of Navistar, a successor company of International Harvester, in 2020.
The rollout may be slightly delayed, however. VW originally said prototypes of the Scout models would be shown in 2023, although the 2026 launch date for the SUV has remained consistent. Also consistent is the styling, clearly influenced by the original Scout, which looks unchanged in a teaser image released alongside the factory announcement.
VW has said the Scout vehicles will ride on a new platform, which will likely be important in helping them match other electric off-roaders like the Rivian R1S and R1T, and the forthcoming Jeep Recon. There are rumors fellow VW Group brand Audi may also launch a rugged SUV, perhaps using the Scout’s platform.