Skip to main content

Volkswagen Group is now officially confirming that it will bring a Scout Motors Inc. EV pickup truck and a new Scout SUV to the U.S. market. In new tweets, the company says “The new brand will launch a fully electric pick—up in the USA in 2026.”  VW recently appointed a new CEO for the new Scout Motors Inc., Scott Keogh, and has released some videos of VW engineers testing out a 1970s Scout.

Is the International Scout coming back?

Scout Motors CEO Scott Keogh | Volkswagen Group

VW CEO Herbert Diess posted on LinkedIn that the Scout brand, the new electric Scout pickup truck, and the new Scout SUV, are part of the company’s new strategy, calling the electric new Scout pickup truck “The most exciting project that the (VW) Group has started in years.” He, too, confirmed that there will be a Scout brand truck soon. He said that the company has “presented options for how and where to produce the pickup.” The new VW ID.4 is being produced in Chattanooga, Tenn.

How did VW get the Scout name?

Scout as a brand name has an awkward history. It was launched by International Harvester and then became part of the Navistar company. But even Diess seems surprised that VW bought the rights to the name. “Since we first discovered that we bought the rights to the brand with #Navistar, Scott Keogh has been pushing the idea to enter the U.S. pickup market with one of America’s most emotional brands,” Diess wrote.

What we know about the new Scout SUV

Unfortunately, we don’ t know much about the new Scout SUV yet or the Scout pickup truck, other than it will be electric and look vaguely like the original that was made in the 1960s and 1970s by International. VW has said even less about the truck version. But, the VW Group is dropping $7.5 billion on U.S. production facilities and it has a goal of gaining 10% market share. It’s starting that push with the ID.4 crossover and the ID.Buzz minivan.

The original Scout was last sold in 1980

1971-80 International Scout II
1971-80 International Scout II | International

How Volkswagen Got the Rights to the International Scout Name

In 1961 International released the first Scout. It was an all-terrain family vehicle that was one of the first SUVs, though they weren’t called that then. It was a hit. Ford then launched the Bronco and Chevy gave us the Blazer. There were two versions of the Scout the original and the Scout II update, which was released in 1971.

Scouts came in several flavors. The 800B is probably the most common International Scout. It’s the Scout with a truck-like body and removable roof. But, IH also made a truck version and the Traveler, which was fully enclosed.

By the time disco music was disappearing, so was the Scout. After 19 years International stopped selling the Scout. But it has lived on as a cult vehicle that today commands a premium on auction sites.

There was a brief moment last year where it looked like electric-truck producer Rivian would revive the name Scout for an SUV, but not now. But, maybe that’s why it’s calling its new SUV the R1S?