Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess has revealed the company will soon decide where to build the upcoming Scout pickup and SUV in the United States.
According to Reuters, Diess used the World Economic Forum to announce the company intends to select a location later this year. The executive didn’t drop many hints, but said the company is already scouting some “brownfield sites and some greenfield locations.” As a result, the models could be built at an entirely new factory or an existing facility that has been repurposed.
Volkswagen has high hopes for the Scout brand as CFO Arno Antlitz floated the possibility of taking it public. While he acknowledged it’s too early to talk about that, Scout could eventually follow a path similar to Rivian.
The automaker announced plans for an electric Scout pickup and SUV earlier this month, and both models will be “designed, engineered, and manufactured in the U.S. for American customers.” They’re slated to increase Volkswagen’s profitability and Diess has previously said they underscore the company’s ambition to “become a relevant player in the U.S. market.”
The first prototypes are set to be unveiled next year, but production isn’t slated to begin until 2026. They’ll be built on a “new technical platform concept,” which promises to be strong and rugged.
Besides talking about Scout, Antlitz said Volkswagen will invest €7 ($7.5 / £5.9) billion over the next five years to fortify its product lineup in the United States. Details are limited, but the company will reportedly offer an electric pickup. It appears the model will be separate from the Scout pickup and wear the Volkswagen badge.
The news isn’t too surprising as Volkswagen has shown an assortment of concepts over the years and officials have been talking about the possibility of an electric pickup in recent months. In particular, Diess implied a competitor to the Ford F-150 Lightning was a “good idea” during a Reddit AMA event in February.
More recently, Volkswagen Group of America CEO Scott Keogh described electric trucks as the “chance of a lifetime” and said the company was “actively looking” at them. Now, with Antlitz’s comment, it appears the electric truck has been given the greenlight.