If there’s one thing auto executives love, it’s launching sub-brands to specialize in various parts of the auto market. volkswagen it is now contemplating such a move in the United States. The company is set to vote on establishing Scout as an electric vehicle brand dedicated to building electric trucks and SUVs..
Where does the name Scout come from?
The move is not entirely a surprise. Volkswagen took ownership of the Scout name through the merger of trucking subsidiary Traton with Navistar in 2021and the latter company owns the rights to the name. Previously, it had been used on the International Harvester Scout, a capable off-roader built in the 1960s and 1980s..
Rumors about the use of the Scout name for an EV first surfaced in September of last year, due to comments made to the media by Johan DeNysschen, COO of Volkswagen Group of America. When the story first broke last year, De Nysschen’s musings were along the lines of a Rivian R1S SUV but “priced at $40,000 instead of $70,000.” The significant discount would only increase due to the price increases that Rivian has instituted since then.
The next Scout will be made on a special platform
Sources suggest that the Scout, in whatever formWhichever it adopts, it would be built on a bespoke platform designed specifically for off-road use. High ground clearance would be key, especially if the platform is to be shared between SUV and pickup models.
As it is not yet approved, the idea is still in its early stages. If it goes ahead, sources suggest the company would produce two electric vehicles by 2026, spending $100 million in initial efforts to set up the Scout operation. External investment may be sought to help finance the new sub-brand.
VW could be the biggest seller of electric cars in the world
Such an effort could help Volkswagen achieve its ambitious goal of being the world’s largest electric vehicle seller by 2025.. The company also expects to double its share of the US market by 2030; a popular electric SUV could help in that regard.
The only problem Volkswagen has is the existing competition. If the rumored details are correct, delivery of its first electric vehicles by 2026 would leave the company years behind. Electric pickup trucks from Ford and Rivian are already shipping, and GMC also has the behemoth Hummer EV in the market.
The brand could focus on producing C-segment EVs
Rumors are that the effort of Volkswagen will sidestep the crowded full-size truck market and instead look to do something more in the C-segment space currently occupied by the ford maverick. Initial production would be aimed at the US market, but the platform could also prove useful for other brands. In particular, C-segment electric trucks could do well in areas like Europe and South America, where tastes tend toward smaller vehicles.
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