September 28, 2023

Volkswagen’s new Scout Motors EV division on Friday confirmed that its first mannequin shall be a $40,000 electrical SUV to be constructed at a brand new $2 billion manufacturing facility close to Columbia, South Carolina.

Scout, which plans to construct rugged EVs impressed by the traditional Worldwide Harvester Scout SUV produced from 1960 to 1980, stated in a press launch that the manufacturing facility will produce 200,000 autos yearly when at full capability, and can create no less than 4,000 everlasting jobs.

Groundbreaking for the South Carolina manufacturing facility is deliberate for mid-2023, with manufacturing anticipated to start out by the top of 2026, the model stated. The primary mannequin produced shall be a “rugged utility automobile” or “RUV,” Scout CEO Scott Keogh stated in an interview with TechCrunch, adopted “in fast succession” by a bigger electrical pickup truck.

Teaser for Scout SUV concept

Teaser for Scout SUV idea

Keogh stated the utility automobile goals for a base value within the $40,000 vary, whereas the pickup shall be “a bit north of there.”

Each fashions are as a result of be unveiled in 2024. That will characterize a slight delay. Volkswagen introduced Scout in Could 2022, and it stated then that first prototypes can be proven in 2023. VW sellers had been fully stunned by the announcement, which successfully bypasses them for a Tesla-like gross sales mannequin. The 2026 manufacturing timeline has remained constant all through, nevertheless.

Additionally constant is easy, squared-off styling. A teaser launched by Scout alongside the manufacturing facility announcement exhibits shapes broadly much like the sketches launched by VW in 2022. That design language will assist join the fashionable Scout EVs to their Nineteen Sixties inspiration.

1971-80 International Harvester Scout

1971-80 Worldwide Harvester Scout

Produced by Worldwide Harvester, an organization principally recognized for tractors and business autos, the unique Scout was one of many first SUVs. VW acquired the rights to the Scout identify when it purchased Worldwide Harvester successor firm Navistar in 2020.

Like the unique, the Scout EVs will each use a body-on-frame platform, VW beforehand confirmed. This platform will probably be unique to Scout, however would possibly borrow parts from different VW Group platforms. The dad or mum firm hasn’t dominated out sharing the Scout platform with different manufacturers—and it reportedly would possibly with Audi.

But with so many back-to-basics electrical SUVs within the works—together with an easier Rivian R2, and the Jeep Recon—will there be sufficient of a market left by the point Scout arrives?