Scout Motors, a Volkswagen-backed startup headquartered in Tysons, Virginia, is establishing its first manufacturing plant in Blythewood, South Carolina, and expects to start producing its electric vehicles by the end of 2026.
Scout will produce all-electric, next-generation trucks and SUVs that hearken back to the iconic Scout, produced by International Harvester from 1960 to 1980. The Scout was the first utility vehicle designed for both off-road and family use.
Scout will invest $2 billion in the new manufacturing facility, which is expected to create 4,000 jobs. At full capacity, the facility could produce more than 200,000 Scout vehicles a year.
“Scout has been an American icon since introducing an SUV in 1960. It’s the vehicle that took your family on a camping trip, that gave access to the great outdoors, and that showed up on the job site every morning. Today we are reimagining Scout’s original ingenuity and electrifying its future,” sad Scout CEO Scott Keogh.
Like the original, the EV Scout will be a serious off-road vehicle, with high ground clearance, tough axles and payload capacity.
The South Carolina site, near Columbia, is 1,600 acres. The production facility will occupy 1,100 acres.
In addition to being backed by Volkswagen AG, Scout Motors’ board members include Gernot Doellner, head of strategy at VW and Peter Bosch, a member of the Bentley Motors Board for manufacturing. The company is also currently evaluating the potential for outside investment.
Volkswagen acquired the Scout brand through its acquisition of Navistar International in 2021, the successor company of International Harvester, the tractor maker that produced the original Scout.
Volkswagen Group of America is headquartered in Reston.