Volkswagen Australia wants to host a jamboree for the Scout brand and raise its hand for the rugged electric Ute and SUV range.
“Scout is American oriented, it’s left-hand drive only at this point. If they decide they want to build a right-hand drive variant, I guarantee I’ll be on a plane straight there to settle the case for Australia,” said Ryan Davies, director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Australia.
“This is quite an exciting product. I think there is a lot of wiggle room [for Scout].
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“I have no other findings or information about it [Scout models] But from what we are seeing they would have a good application here in Australia and should they go for right hand drive I think Volkswagen Group Australia would be incredibly interested.”
Scout has released sketches and a somber teaser of its first vehicles, with concept versions of both set to be revealed in 2023 and production set to begin in 2026.
The new SUVs will not be rebranded versions of other Volkswagen Group products. VW says the company will be formed to design, engineer and manufacture “pickup trucks and rugged” models for the US market.
Instead of the MEB platform used for vehicles like the ID.3 and ID.4, the R-SUV range (as VW has dubbed it) will be built on a “new technical platform concept”.
The company forecasts annual sales of 250,000 vehicles, although it hasn’t spoken of the brand having a presence outside of North America.
Sources have told Automobilwoche that the German automaker is in talks with Foxconn – the contract manufacturer best known for making the Apple iPhone – over manufacturing the Scout range.
If Volkswagen chooses Foxconn, it will benefit from the US production of the Scout. Under the rules of the Biden administration’s recently passed Infrastructure Act, American-made electric vehicles with enough local components can be sold with federal tax credits that reduce the purchase price by up to $7,500 ($11,500).
Volkswagen isn’t the only company developing an edgy electric off-roader.
Rivian already has the R1S SUV and R1T pickup, Jeep has previewed its upcoming Recon due mid-decade, and Mercedes-Benz has an electric G-Class in development.
Over in China, BYD is building a premium brand called Yangwang with a boxy SUV spy test. Chery also introduces the Jetour T-1, which bears a resemblance to the Land Rover Defender.
Looking at electric pickups more broadly, there will soon be a variety of options in the North American market. The Rivian R1T and Ford F-150 Lightning will be joined in the coming years by the Chevrolet Silverado EV, Ram 1500 BEV, GMC Sierra EV and Tesla Cybertruck.
Volkswagen acquired the Scout name in 2021 when its truck division bought Traton Navistar, the parent company of International Harvester, the company that built the Jeep-style Scout from 1961 to 1980.
Produced in the US state of Indiana, it was available with a range of hard- and soft-top body styles and had a pickup truck option.
MORE: Forgotten Nameplates: Scout
https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/motoring/volkswagen-australia-wants-scout-evs-but-rhd-plans-yet-to-be-announced-c-9192590 Volkswagen Australia wants Scout EVs but RHD plans are yet to be announced