VW's Scout Motors to make electric trucks and SUVs in South Carolina

Peng Chen, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Scout Motors will build a manufacturing plant in South Carolina, the US. Credit: Scout Motors

Volkswagen Group has proceeded with its plan to revive the iconic American vehicle, the Scout. The company announced on March 3 that it had selected the State of South Carolina for construction an EV plant. Production is projected to start by the end of 2026.

Less than a year ago, Volkswagen unveiled the new brand, Scout Motors, aiming to revitalize and electrify the legendary vehicle, the Scout. The car was the world's first utility vehicle for both off-road adventure and family duty, according to Scout Motors.

It was previously reported that Volkswagen was considering partnering with Foxconn or Magna Steyr to manufacture the Scout vehicles. However, according to a news report from German-based Automobilwoche in late February, Volkswagen had decided to build a factory in the US by itself.

The project recently became official. An announcement from Scout said it will invest US$2 billion in constructing a manufacturing plant near Columbia, South Carolina, creating 4,000 new jobs. The production capacity is projected to surpass 200,000 cars annually.

The company said the site is near major cities and talent hubs, including Charleston, Charlotte, Greenville, and Atlanta. It will have better access to major highways, the ports of Charleston and Savannah, and universities focusing on automotive engineering.

According to Scout, the brand's trucks and rugged SUVs will be built on a newly designed all-electric platform. The carmaker plans to break ground on the 1,600-acre site in mid-2023 and begin production by the end of 2026.

Scott Keogh, Scout's president and CEO, said Scout has been an American icon since introducing an SUV in 1960. The company is honored to partner with South Carolina to usher in a new era for the vehicle.

South Carolina hosts more than 500 automotive-related businesses. It is also the top state for US export sales of completed passenger vehicles and tires in the US.

Scout is a Virginia-headquartered automaker. The South Carolina site will be its first production facility and Volkswagen's second one on US soil. The German company owns another site in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The new plant will also reportedly be responsible for the manufacturing of Audi EVs, according to Electrek, but Scout did not confirm that plan in the latest press release. If Audi EVs are made in the US, the vehicles will be eligible for the EV tax credits provided by the Inflation Reduction Act.