Volkswagen Group’s electric pickup truck and SUV inspired by the International Harvester Scout, and to be sold by a newly established Scout Motors, is being developed with Magna International.
The information was revealed by Scout CEO Scott Keogh in an interview with Automotive News (subscription required) published on Friday.
Keogh said VW Group didn’t have the engineering staff required to develop a body-on-frame platform suitable for the new Scouts and that Magna was helpful in getting the project moving.
“When the Scout idea started, we had zero engineers,” he said. “But of course we wanted to get moving on the pace, so Magna was helpful at that phase to get things moving.”
Koegh’s comments come after Kleine Zeitung reported last week that Magna Steyr, Magna’s Austrian unit that builds the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and other vehicles under contract, including the Fisker Ocean electric crossover, was helping to engineer the Scouts in a deal valued at 450 million euros (approximately $493 million).
Magna Steyr offers development services in addition to its contract manufacturing services, and was tapped by Mercedes for its latest G-Class, including the upcoming electric version. Magna Steyr also helped develop the Ocean crossover, and the Grenadier off-roader from the U.K.’s Ineos. It previously worked on some VW Group projects, back when it operated as Steyr-Puch.
In his interview with Automotive News, Keogh said Scout’s own engineers are now leading the project.
Scout on Thursday named Burkhard Huhnke as its chief technology officer. Huhnke is a VW Group veteran with an engineering background, and prior to joining Scout he worked at semiconductor company Synopsys, as well as Fisker where he was also chief technology officer.
Teaser for Scout Motors electric SUV and pickup truck
Production of the Scouts will take place at VW Group’s own plant to be constructed near Columbia, South Carolina, which the automaker announced earlier this year. Close to $2 billion is expected to be invested in the site, which VW Group said could churn out 200,000 vehicles annually.
VW Group acquired the rights to the Scout name with its purchase of Navistar, a successor company of International Harvester, in 2020. It then established Scout Motors in the U.S. in 2022, tasked with development and marketing new Scout EVs.
VW Group has previously said it will show a Scout concept in 2024, and that it targets a starting price in the $40,000 bracket. The automaker has also released a pair of teaser sketches that hint at what’s to come.
Keogh said the SUV will be launched first, likely in 2026, with the pickup to follow six to seven months later. A rugged Audi SUV targeting the likes of the G-Class and Land Rover Defender may also be developed using the Scouts’ underpinnings.