VW Is Looking to Bring Back the Scout Brand as an Electric Vehicle

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  • German automotive giant Volkswagen is planning to launch the iconic "Scout" brand as an electric vehicle in the United States.
  • Volkswagen confirms to CNBC that its supervisory board will vote on the proposal on Wednesday.

Volkswagen is planning to resurrect the iconic "Scout" brand as an electric vehicle in the United States.

In a report late Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal said the German automotive giant was aiming to launch a "new Scout-branded electric sport-utility vehicle" as well as an electric pickup truck, also under the Scout name.

Volkswagen confirmed to CNBC that its supervisory board would vote on the proposals on Wednesday.

The Scout's history dates back to the 1960s, when International Harvester — today known as Navistar International Corporation — started development.

According to Navistar, the Scout was "marketed as an all-terrain family recreational vehicle" before evolving into a "true SUV." Production of the Scout ceased in 1980. Today, Navistar is part of the Traton Group, which is itself a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.

Reuters, citing two people with knowledge of the matter, said Wednesday that VW would invest roughly 100 million euros ($105.49 million) in the new brand, adding that it would potentially look for "external funding through investors or an IPO to expand its production capabilities."

Electric ambitions

In July 2021, the Volkswagen Group said half of its sales were expected to be battery-electric vehicles by 2030. By the year 2040, the company said almost 100% of its new vehicles in major markets should be zero-emission.

VW's electrification plans put it in direct competition with long-established automakers like GM and Ford, as well as relative newcomers such as Tesla.

Recently, Ford CEO Jim Farley said his business planned to "challenge Tesla and all comers to become the top EV maker in the world."

In March 2021, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess dismissed the notion his firm could join forces with Tesla, telling CNBC that the company was looking to go its own way.

Speaking to "Squawk Box Europe," Diess was asked if he would rule out any future deal with Elon Musk's electric car maker, in which VW could manufacture its cars, or if the Tesla and VW brands would ever unite.

"No, we haven't considered [that], we are going our own way," he replied. "We want to get close and then overtake." 

—Chloe Taylor contributed to this article.

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