VW, which gained a following in the U.S. with the Microbus and Beetle, has struggled with how to enter the lucrative U.S. pickup market, long dominated by the Detroit 3. It also lacks a bonafide off-road SUV such as the Jeep Wrangler or Land Rover Defender.
VW Group purchased the Scout brand name when its Traton truck unit acquired Navistar International Corp in 2020. Navistar was created in 1985 when International Harvester, which owned the Scout brand, folded.
International Harvester discontinued the Scout line of trucks in 1980 — a decade before Ford introduced another light truck that would bring more momentum to the SUV market — the Explorer.
Light trucks, notably SUVs, pickups and crossovers, are booming and among the U.S. auto industry’s most profitable vehicles. General Motors has revived Hummer as an EV brand and Ford Motor Corp. resurrected the Bronco badge to much early success. And a fierce battle is emerging as EV startups such as Rivian target the electric SUV and pickup market.
There is opportunity in resurrecting revered nameplates. Ford Motor said last week customers new to the company account for as much as 70 percent of U.S. sales of its latest nameplates — the Maverick compact pickup, Bronco SUV, Bronco Sport crossover and Mustang Mach-E electric crossover, all with familiar names.
VW is targeting sales of up to 250,000 Scout-branded models annually in the U.S., the Journal reported, with output slated to begin in 2026.
Larry P. Vellequette, David Phillips