Volkswagen’s Scout Brand: What We Know

Ethel Walsh

The Scout name will return to America’s roads and trails by 2026, brought back by, of all companies, the Volkswagen Group.

Looking to blend VW’s push toward an electric future and Scout’s heritage of building rugged adventure vehicles, the new company will launch with an electric SUV and pickup truck.

First announced last spring, the new VW Group subsidiary has now unveiled a few design sketches and launched its website, The latest rumors have it in talks with contract manufacturers Foxconn and Magna Steyr to build the vehicles in a U.S.-based factory.

Here’s what we know about the new Scout Motors.

What Models Will Scout Motors Build?

Scout has announced it will build an electric pickup truck and SUV. The initial design sketches show a crew cab pickup with a short bed and a four-door, likely two-row, SUV.

Though they’re early illustrations, they show rugged designs with aggressive tires, large wheels pushed far to the corners, and upright front ends reminiscent of the original Scout.

With the expected brand heritage touches, the new electric Scouts appear comparable to the gas-only powered 2023 Land Rover Defender. They may end up a bit larger than the Defender, but certainly nowhere near as big as the massive GMC Hummer EV.

Where Can You Comment on Scout’s Designs?

Scout Motors Inc.

Scout is offering potential customers an avenue to weigh in on aspects of the designs through the Scout Community section of its new website.

“We started this forum to nurture an open dialogue with our community members, to hear what they expect in all-new Scout vehicles, and to build a central location where past, present, and future Scout enthusiasts can come together as one,” said Scott Keogh, CEO of Scout Motors.

Why Is the Scout Brand Coming Back?

Volkswagen needs to get more electric cars on the road, and it’s been looking for an avenue into America’s lucrative pickup truck market. The main Volkswagen brand is slowly launching the ID family of electric cars, with the Volkswagen ID.4 on America’s roads today and the VW ID Buzz electric Volkswagen Bus reincarnation is coming next year. Audi is well on its EV journey, with a broad array of e-tron models available or coming soon.

Starting an all-electric subsidiary with a name that carries a rich heritage in the truck market gives them both a fresh start and a head start. With Americans’ love of rugged (or at least rugged-looking) vehicles, launching a truck brand with a different ethos than VW’s current buttoned-down persona makes sense.

How Did Volkswagen Get Rights to the Scout Name?

Volkswagen acquired the Scout name in 2021. That’s when Volkswagen purchased Navistar, the corporate successor of the company once known as International Harvester.

Where Will the Scout Be Made?

Though the Scout Motors brand is a part of the Volkswagen Group, its vehicles likely will be produced under contract by another company.

Rumors have Volkswagen in talks with Foxconn and Magna Steyr to produce the Scout lineup in a U.S. factory. Building the car in North America potentially allows buyers to take advantage of the revamped Federal Electric Car Tax Credit.

Taiwan-based Foxconn is best known as a contract manufacturer of the Apple iPhone and a multitude of other consumer electronics. They’re moving boldly into auto manufacturing, recently purchasing the Lordstown Motors electric vehicle manufacturing complex in Ohio.

When Can I Buy a New Scout?

It will be a few years until you can buy a new Scout pickup or SUV. The company expects to launch its first product in 2026.

The Original International Harvester Scout

1976 International Harvester ScoutThomas Vogt / Wikimedia Commons

International Harvester sold various Scout vehicles, including pickups and SUVs, from 1961 to 1980.

In some ways, the original Scouts were responsible for today’s SUV craze, as they predated the original Ford Bronco and Chevrolet Blazer. The original Scout was crafted to compete with the Jeep CJ-5, which it did well.

Though they’ve been out of production for over four decades, Scouts are still revered in the off-road community.

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