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Volkswagen Says Plans For Scout Still On Track After Rivian Investment Deal

by | June 27, 2024

Volkswagen’s investment deal with Rivian opened up new avenues of cooperation between the two firms in the world of electrification. However, Volkswagen confirms that plans for the revival of the Scout brand are still on track despite its agreement with the upstart EV company. 

Volkswagen’s deal with Rivian raised some questions about the future of its plans to revive the Scout nameplate as an EV brand.

Rivian and Volkswagen shook up the industry this week when the two companies confirmed that they entered into a new agreement that will see the two firms work together on software development for EVs with Volkswagen also investing $5 billion into Rivian as part of the newly inked deal. The agreement opens up a number of new avenues for both firms but the one question that arose was what would happen to Volkswagen’s plan to revive the dormant Scout brand?

The German auto giant confirmed in a statement that despite the blockbuster deal with Rivian, the plan to revive Scout is still firmly on track with the company not shelving the ambitious project anytime soon.

Scout will help Volkswagen enter the off-road market

Volkswagen doused the flames of doubt and confirmed that the revival of Scout is still on track.

It has been some time since we heard anything new about the Scout brand with Volkswagen announcing in May of 2022 that it was reviving the Scout name for a lineup of EVs which would channel the spirit of the original International Harvester Scout SUV. The rugged SUV was once considered a rival to the Ford Bronco and early Jeep offerings when it entered production in 1961 but it fell victim to IHC’s broader financial collapse when the struggling company ended production in 1980.

The newly revived Scout brand will not only offer an SUV, but also a pickup with both of them being produced at a new manufacturing plant in South Carolina. A key trait about both of these EVs is that they will be on a brand-exclusive platform that’s rumored to not borrow anything whatsoever from VW’s MEB architecture. This bespoke platform would allow the duo to have potent off-road capability and deliver on some of the promises that Volkswagen has made.

VW’s Head of Strategy and Finance Communication Christopher Hauss confirmed that plans for the brand were not changing with a brief statement saying.

“Our commitment towards Scout has not changed at all,” he said. “Clear focus is now on taking the next steps in our joint venture plans with Rivian.”

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Rivian could still play a small role in the development of the Scout models due to its experience with software.

While Hauss’s statement appears to confirm that Scout models will not share any major components with Rivan’s lineup of EVs, the firm might still contribute to the revival of the nameplate in other ways. A key aspect of the Rivian and Volkswagen agreement is that Volkswagen will be able to get access to Rivian’s experience in software and electrical architecture development. Some of this knowledge might trickle its way into the Scout models with software and the accompanying electrical architecture being key components that will need to be addressed to make sure the Scout models can perform out on the trail.

As for the Scout brand itself, Volkswagen is in no rush to get the brand off the ground with the company confirming that it plans to start production in 2026. The SUV will most likely appear first with the pickup potentially arriving shortly after. This timeline would give VW engineers plenty of time to develop the Scout models and help make sure that they are ready to go into full-scale production.


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