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Volkswagen Will Cash In on the Electric Truck Craze with New Scout Sub-Brand

VW will use the Scout nameplate for future electric trucks and SUVs

  • Volkswagen will produce a pair of off-road-focused electric vehicles by 2026.
  • VW will create a new Scout sub-brand to sell the adventure truck and SUV.

Two years ago, Volkswagen acquired the rights to the Scout name, which previously served as the moniker of an off-road SUV produced by International Harvester until 1980. Now we know why VW was so interested in the nameplate. VW is the latest manufacturer looking to cash in on the EV truck craze (kick-started by the likes of the Rivian R1T and Ford F-150 Lightning) and is resurrecting the dormant badge to launch a new sub-brand that will focus exclusively on the production of electric trucks and SUVs. We now have our first look at the kind of Scouts that VW plans to make.

Don't expect to see an electric Scout anytime soon

The first vehicles produced under the Scout sub-brand will be an off-road-oriented truck and SUV. Indeed, the illustration that Volkswagen provided alongside the announcement showed a pair of vehicles with knobby tires and overall designs not dissimilar from the Rivian R1T pickup and R1S SUV.

Even though the electric truck/SUV segment will see new vehicles like the F-150 Lightning, GMC Hummer EV and SUV, Chevrolet Silverado EV, Chevy Blazer EV and more over the next few years, the current landscape doesn't seem overly crowded with choices. However, there's a long time between now and 2026, when VW predicts the first Scout models will launch. That might seem to put Volkswagen at a disadvantage, but the automaker has plenty of products and issues to keep them busy in the interim. The ID.4 is essentially sold out through the end of 2022 and the release of the ID. Buzz minivan has been pushed back to 2024. It might not be such a bad idea, then, that Volkswagen spends a little time sorting out its own EV plan before launching a new brand.

It makes sense to start fresh

Volkswagen already makes the Amarok body-on-frame truck and commercial vehicles in other parts of the world, but the automaker isn't known for its workhorses in the U.S. Thus, bringing a VW-branded offroad truck to our shores was always going to be a tough proposition. But the Scout nameplate gives the new sub-brand the opportunity to make a good first impression, unburdened by the weight of the Volkswagen badge and with a decent amount of name recognition among off-road enthusiasts.

Edmunds says

Volkswagen is playing it smart by resurrecting the Scout nameplate for a new line of off-road-focused electric pickups and SUVs.