Scout Motors, the company that is reviving the legendary Scout nameplate in EV form, is making consistent strides toward its goal of producing vehicles by the end of 2026. Here’s a Scout Motors EV update.
What is a Scout?
If you’re not familiar with the Scout nameplate here’s a brief overview. The Scout was a vehicle produced by International Harvester (IH) from 1960 to 1980. It went through several iterations and featured several models. One thing all Scouts had in common was rugged simplicity. Through the years Scouts used a wide variety of engines from I-4 to V-8 and even an I-6 turbodiesel. The Scout II is arguably the most popular model, and it was in production from 1971 to 1980. Through this time the sheetmetal remained largely unchanged. Unique features of the two-door Scout II included a pickup truck-like tailgate and a front-hinged hood. There was even a pickup truck called the Scout II Terra. Nowadays, vintage Scouts are in demand and command a high price. IH Scouts left an enduring mark in the automotive landscape.
The World Needs Scouts
“The world needs Scouts,” says Scout Motors. So, the company is bringing back the Scout nameplate, but this time it’s going to be all-electric. In May 2022 a press release outlined the the basics of the Scout plan. Scout Motors is a separate unit and brand within the Volkswagen Group, but Scouts will be designed, engineered, and manufactured in the U.S. for American customers. To help accomplish that goal, the company established an online presence that included social media sites and a website. Soon after, the Tysons, Virginia-based Scout Motors announced that it had selected a site near Columbia, South Carolina, as its first manufacturing plant. The site spans about 1,600 acres with the plant occupying 1,100 acres. Scout Motors says it has the potential to create 4,000 permanent jobs and produce 200,000 vehicles annually at full capacity.
Scout Motors Races in the NORRA Mexican 1000
In a cool move to honor the Scout’s iconic heritage, Scout Motors partnered with Anything Scout Vintage Racing Team to race in the NORRA Mexican 1000. The vehicle used was a 1976 Scout Terra pickup that was built by Anything Scout. It was powered by a stock, 195ci four-cylinder engine mated to a four-speed manual transmission. The race also served another purpose. “Off-road racing serves as a proving ground for American automotive die-hards,” said Scout Motors CEO and President Scott Keogh. “The Baja peninsula, in particular, is the spiritual home for high performance off-road racing. As we build Scout Motors, it’s only fitting we start in Baja in classically proven trucks to capture the essence of Scout. From there, the NORRA Mexican 1000 is a chance for us to draw inspiration from Scout racing heritage and learn how to best inject future products with off-road DNA and rugged capability.”
Scout Motors Hires Chris Benjamin, Industry Veteran
Scout Motors is currently hiring staff. Recently it added Chris Benjamin as Chief Design Officer. Benjamin has a solid resume and has worked for Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo, and Stellantis. At Stellantis he led interior design for a number of brands including Jeep, Wagoneer, Chrysler, Dodge, and Ram. Benjamin says, “Classic Scout vehicles have always exerted a magnetic pull on me. They created the archetype for the modern SUV in the ‘60s and proved that a daily driver could also be a weekend adventurer. My task now is to balance the iconic design language of the past with all of the innovative possibilities that electrification unlocks. With the base of inspiration that Scout offers, what we’re dreaming up will be beyond special.”
Meet Dr. Jan Spies, Scout Motors Chief Production Officer
Joining Scout Motors as Chief Production Officer is Dr. Jan Spies. He holds a doctorate degree in mechanical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Spies has more than two decades of experience at Volkswagen Group, which has provided him with extensive knowledge of plant operations. “Jan is the ideal leader to turn the ambitious vision of Scout Motors into a reality,” said Scout Motors CEO and President Scott Keogh. “His vast expertise and visionary approach to production management will be invaluable as we establish world-class manufacturing operations. Additionally, the initiation of hiring for our South Carolina facility marks an exciting milestone as we work towards building a dynamic team that will help us shape the future of all-electric transportation.” The latter statement is a reference to the ongoing hiring at Scout Motors.
Scout Motors EV Update
As we continue with our Scout Motors EV update we see that a number of employees have been hired at Scout Motors recently. And there’s more to come. In a recent press release the company says that it is currently hiring for more than 20 open roles. These roles are in production, supply chain, IT, and administration. Furthermore, the company has a career page where you can see all the open roles. And in late July, Scout Motors hosted its Group Board of Directors in South Carolina for a showing of progress and a look at the future of the brand.
What’s Next for Scout Motors?
Scout Motors has a unique challenge because its first vehicles are based on an iconic nameplate that many people are passionate about. That’s a tall order, especially when the new Scout will use a completely different powertrain than its predecessors. The company also needs to create a vehicle that appeals to buyers that aren’t passionate Scout fans. That means it’ll need to go head to head with established EVs in its segment, and win. It appears Scout Motors is off to a good start. It has teased images of the Scout and Scout pickup and to us they look good, clearly resembling the iconic vehicles. We’re anxious to hear what Scout Motors has planned for the powertrain. Electrified will have more Scout EV info as it becomes available.