The Scout Brand is Coming Back as a Rugged Electric Vehicle

The Volkswagen Group will resurrect the Scout nameplate for an electric vehicle (EV) brand in the near future, the company said on Thursday.

In 2026, VW plans to introduce an all-electric SUV and pickup truck for the U.S. market bearing the Scout moniker. It will be an independent company that will be responsible for the design, development and production of those vehicles.

"After Volkswagen's successful turnaround in the U.S., we are now taking the opportunity to further strengthen our position in one of the most significant growth markets for EVs," VW CEO Herbert Diess said in a press release. "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 U.S. market."

Stephanie Brinley, an automotive analyst at S&P Global Mobility, told Newsweek that choosing to revive an old nameplate with some cache for a pickup instead of folding it under the VW brand may make it more memorable to consumers.

Volkswagen Scout
Volkswagen announced plans to revive the Scout brand for all-electric pickups and SUVs in 2026. Volkswagen AG

"The VW brand, for the U.S., is not synonymous with pickup trucks," she said. "In choosing to use a brand that had existed in that space, and that some consumers still remember, gives it a little bit more credibility for U.S. consumers than maybe the VW brand would."

She said that while the Scout lineup has been out of the public eye for decades, things like social media and car clubs make it easier for anyone interested in the brand to access information about it.

One of the keys to Scout's potential success, she explained, is letting the team in North America take the reins and not micromanage from Wolfsburg.

"What it'll need to work is to make sure they rely on the knowledge base they have in North America and let that group develop it, take the lead and give them the space to regionalize the product."

International Harvester Travelall
Originally started as an agricultural equipment producer, International Harvester dabbled in the passenger vehicle market. Getty Images

The original Scout was a lineup of two-door pickups and SUVs manufactured from 1961 to 1980 by agricultural equipment builder International Harvester as a direct competitor to Jeep.

After some financial troubles, International Harvester discontinued the Scout line and changed its name to Navistar International in 1986.

Navistar makes trucks and diesel engines. It's a subsidiary of commercial vehicle maker Traton, itself a subsidiary of Volkswagen. When Navistar was acquired by Traton, the trademarks for the Scout name passed to VW.

The Scout pickup truck will have some stiff competition when it comes to market. The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning, the 2022 Rivian R1T and the 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup are already on the road.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning
The F-150 Lightning is distinguishable from the rest of the F-Series lineup by its large LED light bar and closed grille area. Ford Motor Company

By 2026, the Chevrolet Silverado EV, Ram 1500 EV and the Tesla Cybertruck are expected to join the fray.

Brinley thinks that the Scout pickup EV will probably be sized along the lines of the Rivian or Honda Ridgeline, avoiding the more difficult cross shop with the F-150 Lightning or Silverado EV.

Its SUV counterpart will also have its fair share of rivals, though so far the Rivian R1S and GMC Hummer EV SUV are the ones that have been billed as capable offroaders.

Prototypes for both vehicles are slated to be unveiled next year, with production starting in 2026.