Scout: VW builds electric car plant in South Carolina
Volkswagen is building an electric car factory near Columbia, South Carolina, for its US-brand Scout. Next-generation electric pickups and SUVs will roll off the production line there starting in 2026.
++ This article has been updated. Kindly continue reading below. ++
VW’s supervisory board gave the green light on Friday. The company said it would invest about 1.9 billion euros in construction. Volkswagen did not officially disclose the extent to which subsidies under the US Inflation Reduction Act tipped the scales in favour of the investment decision.
The plant is planned to have an annual capacity of more than 200,000 vehicles. The groundbreaking ceremony will take place as early as mid-2023. After completion, the new factory will be around 4.45 square kilometres in size. Scout’s pickups and SUVs will be built on a newly designed all-electric platform, with an emphasis on off-road capability.
“The shift in the North American market toward electric mobility is a historic opportunity for the Group to take a stronger position, further diversify our global presence, and increase our resilience,” VW CFO Arno Antlitz wrote on LinkedIn. ” We have a unique chance to grow profitably and to grow electric in the US. We intend to seize it.”
Rumours that other brands from the VW Group, namely Audi, could also produce their EVs at the new plant seem to be false. A VW spokesperson told the German publication Automobilwoche, that the factory would exclusively produce Scout vehicles. This comes after Audi CEO Markus Duesmann recently said that having its own production in the US might make sense for Audi, in order to best benefit from the US electric vehicle subsidy programme.
In 2020, Volkswagen bought the commercial vehicle manufacturer Navistar, which most recently held the rights to the Scout brand. These initially belonged to the agricultural machinery manufacturer International Harvester, which built off-road vehicles in the US between 1960 and 1980.
Update 13 March 2023
The South Carolina House has approved a $1.3 billion package for Volkswagen’s new electric vehicle plant. The plant near Columbia, South Carolina, will produce electric pickups and SUVs for Volkswagen’s US-brand Scout from 2026, as previously announced.
In the new announcement, VW also added that it plans to hire somewhere around 4,000 workers for its $2 billion dollar plant.