First two models of new US-market 4×4 brand will go into production in 2026
Volkswagen has announced plans to launch two new rugged electric 4x4s in the US, with a pick-up truck and an SUV slated for production in 2026.
Both cars will be designed and manufactured in the US, with the first prototypes due to be revealed next year. Volkswagen will also revive the Scout off-road brand that it acquired last year. The moniker has sat dormant since International Harvester, the original SUV’s manufacturer, retired the model in 1980.
Volkswagen says the Scout brand will be formed later this year. It will stand alone from the main Volkswagen marque and will be “built upon a new technical platform concept” that will bring “new pick-up and [rugged SUV] credibility” beyond the current Volkswagen model range. This suggests the MEB architecture currently used for Volkswagen EVs will not be adopted.
“The company we will establish this year will be a separate unit and brand within the Volkswagen Group to be managed independently,” said Volkswagen Group chief financial officer Arno Antlitz.
“This aligns with the new group steering model – small units that act agilely and have access to our tech platforms to leverage synergies.”
The firm is targeting a 10% market share of the rugged SUV (R-SUV) and pick-up segments in the US.
“After Volkswagen’s successful turnaround in the US, we are now taking the opportunity to further strengthen our position in one of the most significant growth markets for EVs,” said Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess.
“Electrification provides a historic opportunity to enter the highly attractive pick-up and R-SUV segment as a group, underscoring our ambition to become a relevant player in the US market.”
The Scout SUV was formerly built by International Harvester, which traditionally manufactured farm and commercial vehicles. It was produced from 1961 to 1980 as the firm’s first passenger car and was also available as a pick-up.
It would challenge one of the Jeep Wrangler’s ancestors, the Jeep CJ, while Ford introduced the Bronco in 1965.
Volkswagen revealed a set of concept design images as part of the announcement, showing the silhouettes of both the pick-up and large SUV, which are clearly envisioned as rivals for the Rivian R1T and R1S respectively.