The CEO of Scout, Scott Keogh, has confirmed that Volkswagen Group’s electric pickup truck and SUV, inspired by the International Harvester Scout, and to be sold under the newly established Scout Motors brand, are being developed in collaboration with Magna International. Keogh revealed this information during an interview with Automotive News, highlighting the crucial role Magna played in the project’s early stages.
Keogh explained that Volkswagen Group initially lacked the engineering expertise needed to develop a body-on-frame platform suitable for the new Scout vehicles. Magna stepped in to provide essential support to kickstart the project. “When the Scout idea started, we had zero engineers,” Keogh stated. “But, of course, we wanted to get moving on the pace, so Magna was helpful at that phase to get things moving.”
This collaboration between Scout and Magna is reported to be valued at 450 million euros (approximately $493 million). Magna Steyr, Magna’s Austrian unit known for manufacturing vehicles under contract, including the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and the Fisker Ocean electric crossover, is assisting in engineering the Scout vehicles.
Magna Steyr, with its extensive experience in development services, previously worked on projects for various automakers, including Volkswagen Group. However, Keogh mentioned that Scout’s own engineers have now taken the lead in the project.
Scout Motors recently appointed Burkhard Huhnke as its Chief Technology Officer. Huhnke, a veteran from the VW Group with a strong engineering background, previously worked at semiconductor company Synopsys and Fisker, where he held the position of Chief Technology Officer.
Production of the Scout vehicles is set to take place at a new VW Group plant near Columbia, South Carolina, with an expected investment of close to $2 billion. This facility is projected to have the capacity to manufacture up to 200,000 vehicles annually.
VW Group acquired the rights to the Scout name through its purchase of Navistar in 2020. In 2022, Scout Motors was established in the U.S. to oversee the development and marketing of the new Scout electric vehicles. Volkswagen Group has previously announced plans to reveal a Scout concept in 2024, with a target starting price in the $40,000 range. The company has also released teaser sketches offering a glimpse of what to expect.
Keogh indicated that the SUV variant is expected to launch first, likely in 2026, followed by the pickup model approximately six to seven months later. Additionally, there is the possibility of a rugged Audi SUV developed using the underpinnings of the Scout vehicles, targeting competitors like the G-Class and Land Rover Defender.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Electric Vehicle Development
Q: What is the collaboration between Scout and Magna International about?
A: Scout Motors, under the Volkswagen Group, is partnering with Magna International for the development of electric pickup trucks and SUVs inspired by the International Harvester Scout. Magna is providing crucial engineering support for this project.
Q: How did Magna International get involved in the Scout project?
A: Scout CEO Scott Keogh explained that Volkswagen Group lacked the necessary engineering staff initially, and Magna played a key role in kickstarting the project by providing expertise in developing a body-on-frame platform suitable for the new Scout vehicles.
Q: What is the reported value of the collaboration between Scout and Magna?
A: The collaboration between Scout and Magna International is reported to be valued at 450 million euros, which is approximately $493 million.
Q: Where will the production of the Scout electric vehicles take place?
A: Production of the Scout electric vehicles is planned to occur at a new Volkswagen Group plant near Columbia, South Carolina. The investment in this facility is expected to reach close to $2 billion, with a projected annual manufacturing capacity of up to 200,000 vehicles.
Q: When can we expect to see the Scout electric vehicles in the market?
A: The SUV variant of the Scout electric vehicle is likely to launch first, expected around 2026, followed by the pickup model approximately six to seven months later. Additionally, there is the possibility of a rugged Audi SUV developed using the Scout vehicles’ underpinnings.