All-Electric and All-American
Scout Motors, the all-electric truck brand being revived by the Volkswagen Group, has announced it will build its trucks and SUVs in a new manufacturing plant near Columbia, South Carolina. The company says the new plant, which is a $2 billion investment, has the potential to create 4,000 permanent jobs and, once up to full capacity, will produce more than 200,000 Scout vehicles annually.
The site of the new factory covers approximately 1,600 acres, with the new plant itself occupying 1,100 acres. It is located less than 20 miles north of Columbia and near major cities like Charleston, Charlotte, Greenville, and Atlanta. Scout says that the location will not only give it access to major highways and the port of Charleston for logistics purposes, but that nearby universities focused on automotive engineering will also provide a strong talent pool.
Modern Tech, Historic Feel
Scout’s rugged all-electric trucks and SUVs will be built on a newly designed all-electric platform. Designed from the ground up for electric power, the new platform should deliver class-leading capability and off-road prowess. Engineers are focused on giving the new Scouts the ground clearance, approach angles, robust axles, and payload to truly perform off-road, while also providing optimal all-electric range and new digital features. The company hopes its new products will honor the brand’s strong off-road heritage.
The first product to roll off the production line in South Carolina will be a new Scout SUV, which the brand has already teased with a series of sketches and a dimly-lit photo. The teaser image shows the Scout concept sporting a strong stance and upright posture reminiscent of classic Scout models. The brand has a long history, and introduced its first SUV in 1960 – a vehicle that took American families on camping trips, gave access to the great outdoors, and showed up on job sites around the country. The new Scouts will retain some recognizable design cues while offering up to date technology and electric drive.
A New Epicenter for EV Development
“Scout Motors will provide thousands of South Carolinians with previously unimagined opportunities and prosperity for generations to come. The Palmetto State, with its rich history, superior people, and sterling automotive manufacturing reputation, is the perfect place to re-start this iconic American brand,” said Governor Henry McMaster.
South Carolina is an established leader in the global automotive industry with over 500 automotive-related companies and 75,000 automotive industry employees. The state is No. 1 in the U.S. for export sales of both completed passenger vehicles and tires, with Michelin having been a resident for many decades. Looking ahead, the state is committed to becoming an epicenter of electric vehicle innovation. In October 2022, the government prioritized building EV infrastructure, preparing the state workforce for advanced manufacturing jobs, and strategically organizing EV planning under a centralized working group.
Groundbreaking for the all-new Scout factory is planned for mid-2023, with production projected to begin by the end of 2026.