VW challenges Rivian and Ford with an electric Scout SUV

The Volkswagen logo is pictured at the 2022 New York International Auto Show in Manhattan, New York, U.S., April 13, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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HAMBURG/WASHINGTON, May 11 (Reuters) – Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) plans to reintroduce the Scout off-road brand in the United States with new electric pickups and sport utility vehicles (SUVs), the automaker has confirmed. German automobile.

The German automaker is reportedly investing around 100 million euros ($106 million) in the new Scout brand, two people briefed on the matter said.

VW said it would create a separate, independent company to build the Scout from 2026 which will be designed, engineered and manufactured in the United States for American customers.

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Sources told Reuters that VW could potentially seek external funding through investors or an IPO to expand production capacity.

VW Group Chief Executive Herbert Diess said “electrification offers a historic opportunity to enter” the US pick-up market and underlines VW’s “ambition to become a relevant player in the US market. “. VW last sold a pickup in the United States in the early 1980s.

The company said this was a key part of its goal of achieving 10% market share in the United States.

Volkswagen has moved away from cars in the United States by adding more electric models. SUVs now account for around 75% of US sales of the group’s VW and Audi brands, which account for around 4% of US auto industry sales. US sales of both brands fell about 30% in the first quarter.

Scout and Travelall vehicles manufactured by International Harvester were the function and style precursors to popular SUVs from Detroit’s Big Three automakers such as the Ford Bronco and General Motors (GM) Chevrolet Suburban (GM.N) .

Harvester stopped building the Scout and Travelall in 1980 after the oil price shocks of the mid-1970s as it underwent restructuring.

But the Scout “look” lives on in vehicles such as Ford’s (FN) current Bronco and Rivian’s (RIVN.O) R1 line of pickups and SUVs for electric vehicles (EVs).

The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Volkswagen hopes to eventually sell up to 250,000 Scout brand vehicles a year in the United States.

Volkswagen first revealed it was considering using the Scout name late last year. The automaker’s Traton SE business acquired US truck maker Navistar in 2020, which owns the Scout name.

In 2020, GM said it would resurrect the Hummer name to build electric SUVs and pickup trucks and through March 31 it delivered 100 Hummer EV pickup trucks in the United States.

($1 = 0.9477 euros)

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Reporting by Jan Schwartz, David Shepardson Writing by Victoria Waldersee Editing by Jane Merriman, Mark Potter, Kirsten Donovan

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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