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The Detroit Free Press
May 14, 2022

Volkswagen’s decision to revive the dormant International Scout brand of SUVs and pickups with a family of U.S.-centric electric vehicles is a potential stroke of genius that should cause sleepless nights for executives at Ford, Jeep, Chevrolet and GMC.

The new vehicles, which could be on sale as soon as 2026, flow from the confluence of three automotive megatrends:
  • The design and engineering flexibility inherent in the skateboard platforms most modern electric vehicles use.
  • Surging interest in capable SUVs with heritage styling and capability.
  • America’s love for pickups.
They could gain VW entrée into the heart of the American market, and fulfill its decadeslong desire to be a player in the fabulously profitable U.S. pickup market.

“Volkswagen has an opportunity to draw on positive consumer sentiment with the Scout name, and perhaps borrow some credibility from history, to achieve its long-held goal of participating in the traditionally lucrative U.S. pickup market,” S&P Global Mobility principal automotive analyst Stephanie Brinley said.

Scout will start small, but Ford, GM and Stellantis should plan to meet its challenge aggressively. And hang onto their wallets.

R-SUV is VW’s shorthand for "rugged SUV." It indicates plans for tough off-roaders like the Jeep Wrangler, Ford Bronco and Land Rover Defender, as opposed to VW’s current on-road focused SUVs: the Atlas, Tiguan, Taos and the electric ID4. “Modernizing the Scout design can give VW a product basis that is better aligned with U.S. tastes than much of what it already has,” Brinley said.

Scout vehicles will be designed, engineered and manufactured “in the U.S. for American customers,” according to a company statement. VW will set Scout up as a new company.











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But...we've heard this before, haven't we?
+1
Most definitely, Perian. In fact we've heard various "very successful future" themed predictions before not only from VW, but from Navistar (the successor to International Harvester, now part of VW's Traton Group) as well.
 

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+1
Most definitely, Perian. In fact we've heard various "very successful future" themed predictions before not only from VW, but from Navistar (the successor to International Harvester, now part of VW's Traton Group) as well.
I've had many dealings with Navistar and let's just say the VW has a lot of work to do.
 

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There’s something very off putting about foreign companies owning heritage American brands/vehicle names…
It very rarely ever works out as a basis for selling a heritage product when ownership visibility is so blatant.

VW could still pull it off with a great product and marketing not aimed at trying to convince everyone it’s apple pie.
 

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VW hasn't cracked the American market in virtually anyway, but they'll do it this time? Consider me skeptical (and cynical).

Scout is not a big brand, most people wouldn't even recognize it. I didn't know it existed until about 4 years ago and I'm a 43-year old American. VW slapping a Scout body design on a pedestrian VW EV platform is not the ticket, and I'm sure that's exactly how this will go.
 

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VW hasn't cracked the American market in virtually anyway, but they'll do it this time? Consider me skeptical (and cynical).

Scout is not a big brand, most people wouldn't even recognize it. I didn't know it existed until about 4 years ago and I'm a 43-year old American. VW slapping a Scout body design on a pedestrian VW EV platform is not the ticket, and I'm sure that's exactly how this will go.
 

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VW hasn't cracked the American market in virtually anyway, but they'll do it this time? Consider me skeptical (and cynical).

Scout is not a big brand, most people wouldn't even recognize it. I didn't know it existed until about 4 years ago and I'm a 43-year old American. VW slapping a Scout body design on a pedestrian VW EV platform is not the ticket, and I'm sure that's exactly how this will go.
That thing there about Scout or IH as it were: The only reason I know they existed was because in a small town setting the IH dealer that sold the tractors also sold the automobile offerings as well. :) (Where I lived for a number of years ... ;) way back when.)
 

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VW hasn't cracked the American market in virtually anyway, but they'll do it this time? Consider me skeptical (and cynical).

Scout is not a big brand, most people wouldn't even recognize it. I didn't know it existed until about 4 years ago and I'm a 43-year old American. VW slapping a Scout body design on a pedestrian VW EV platform is not the ticket, and I'm sure that's exactly how this will go.
I only know because I see one or two around occasionally.

Otherwise, I'd imagine in general the market probably has no idea what it is.
 
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