- VW’s new Scout-brand trucks and SUVs are scheduled for 2026, and now we know they’ll be built in the Palmetto State.
- The $2 billion plant is estimated to create 4,000 jobs and will be able to produce 200,000 EVs per year.
- Currently, VW builds the ID.4 in Chattanooga and has plans to ramp up EV production there, but the South Carolina plan will be Scout-specific.
Volkswagen will build electric vehicles for its upcoming Scout Motors brand in South Carolina, the company announced this week. The EV plant will be VW’s second vehicle production facility in the US, but it will make nothing but Scout models.
VW’s board of directors announced that the company will build a new assembly plant for Scout vehicles in Blythewood, South Carolina, at a cost of $2 billion. The plant is expected to begin production in 2026 of an electric pick-up truck and “robust” SUVs with the Scout name. The new Scout EV plant is estimated to create 4,000 jobs and produce more than 200,000 vehicles per year when fully operational. These will all be Scout vehicles, not EVs for other VW brands, a VW spokesman said Car news.
VW currently operates one factory in the US, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The company announced last May that it would spend more than $7 billion in North America over five years to “strengthen its product portfolio, local R&D and manufacturing capabilities” in the region. Volkswagen began building the ID.4 in Chattanooga in July 2022, with plans to produce 7,000 EVs per month. This number should increase throughout 2023. The automaker also started a battery engineering lab in Chattanooga last year and said it aims to “build up” battery cell production in the US.
The new Scout plant fits in with other commitments VW made as part of the $7.1 billion announcement last May. At the time, VW said it would introduce not only the American-built ID.4 in 2022, but also the ID. Buzz in 2024 and “new electric SUVs from 2026.” VW also builds EVs in Europe and China and has talked about a new Canadian battery plant.
VW took control of the Scout brand in 2021 when it acquired Navistar (which was the successor to International Harvester, which created the original Scout). VW officially revived the brand in 2022. Scout Motors CEO Scott Keogh, formerly CEO and President of Volkswagen Group of America, wrote about the plant on LinkedIn, saying that “What started in 1960 has come full circle today. Scout is once again making the reimagining adventures. what an off-road vehicle can deliver – only this time it’s with an all-electric platform. Today, we’re closer than ever to putting a major American icon on the road.”
Nowhere in these factory announcements have we learned any details about the vehicles themselves, but Keogh’s words hint that some all-electric outdoor fun is on the way. “Scout has always been the vehicle that takes your family camping and also shows up to the workplace every morning,” he wrote. “That doesn’t change. Scout’s versatility remains intact, and America’s love for driving will be rekindled.”
Sebastian Blanco has been writing about electric vehicles, hybrids and hydrogen cars since 2006. His articles and car reviews appeared in the New York Times, Automotive News, Reuters, SAE, Autoblog, InsideEVs, Trucks.com, Car Talk and other outlets. His first green car media event was the launch of the Tesla Roadster, and since then he has followed the shift away from petrol-powered vehicles and discovered the new technology’s importance not only to the car industry, but to the world as a whole. . Throw in the recent shift to autonomous vehicles, and there are more interesting changes happening now than most people can wrap their heads around. You can find him on Twitter or, on good days, behind the wheel of a new EV.