USA: Magna may develop “rugged” Scout EVs for VW

Volkswagen may turn to Magna International to help them relaunch the Scout brand in the USA with a range of “rugged” new offroad EVs. Apparently, VW is in talks with the contract manufacturer and continues to consider getting a dedicated new platform for these vehicles.

According to German media, the companies were in talks over “managing the comeback of the Scout brand”. Automobilwoche reports Magna was to develop the e-pickup planned for 2026 as the first Scout vehicle, however, quoting unnamed company circles.

Magna did not comment when asked by Automobilwoche, and there has been no news from Volkswagen either.

While Magna is also a contract manufacturer, VW probably only wants the company to develop the vehicle but produce it in-house. Volkswagen is considering building a dedicated plant for Scout because the Chattanooga location does not seem suitable. VW could share the plant with other group brands.

Volkswagen had confirmed plans for a new EV brand under the Scout label for the US market in May this year with approval from the Supervisory Board. At the time, Herbert Diess was still CEO in Wolfsburg, but current boss Oliver Blume also seems to support the plans. In May, the company said that the vehicles would be “designed, developed and produced in the United States for US customers”, with production starting in 2026.

Automobilwoche also repeats other rumours that first floated in May – VW appears to develop a dedicated Scout platform, as current EV architectures within the Group cannot support vehicles of the size and design of a Ford F-150. Magna, which wants to become more active in the USA, could come into play here. Kurt Bachmaier, Vice President of Magna Steyr, confirmed the company’s interest in gaining a foothold in the US to Automobilwoche in September.

The original Scout was a two-door off-road vehicle built between 1961 and 1980. Volkswagen concepts so far show a four-door vehicle, yet, in keeping with the brand’s history, these are reportedly “rugged off-roaders”, not comfortable road-going SUVs.

Volkswagen acquired the rights to the Scout brand name, based on a model made by former US manufacturer International Harvester when it acquired Navistar in 2020.

Additional reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany. (in German)


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