Construction work will begin later this year and should be completed ahead of the brand’s launch in 2026.
The electric trucks and SUVs that will be built there will share elements with VW models, but not their entire platforms.
A partnership with Redwood Materials could also be in the works.
Volkswagen has now confirmed its upcoming factory dedicated to building Scout-branded vehicles will be built in South Carolina.
For a few years now, automakers have moved some of their manufacturing operations away from the Midwest, which was traditionally the epicentre of the automotive industry in the U.S., to relocate to the south where regulations and incentives make production more profitable.
This is also true of newcomers who decide to set up shop in the country, an idea that has gained in popularity since the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was passed last year.
Indeed, Volkswagen says the IRA was a key factor in its decision to invest $2 billion in a new factory in South Carolina which it will use to build Scout EVs starting in 2026, in addition to an undisclosed incentive package from the State.
The company also says it chose this precise location in Blythewood since it is in the middle of the so-called battery belt (an area with a strong concentration of battery and EV manufacturing facilities) and also due to its relative proximity to the port of Charleston, which is currently the 8th largest and fastest growing port in the U.S.
This will be important since it gives VW the opportunity to export Scout vehicles globally from this same production facility.
A few more details about the upcoming Scout models have been revealed and we now know that despite sharing some mechanical parts such as motors and batteries with other Volkswagen vehicles, these trucks and SUVs will use their own platform.
By employing around 4,000 people, this factory will be able to deliver 200,000 units of the rugged electric vehicles each year.
Not far from the location where Scout will break ground later this year, battery recycling start-up Redwood Materials is about to build its own $3.5 billion processing plant.
This young company already has a contract to supply Toyota and Ford with recycled battery minerals and Volkswagen announced it would send its discarded batteries to Redwood Materials for recycling.
Since Scout is technically a separate entity within the VW Group, it might not be part of this partnership with Redwood, despite its intention to use up to 50% recycled minerals in the batteries it installs in its vehicles.
Choosing to manufacture Scout EVs in the United States could also help Volkswagen convince buyers who might have been unhappy to see the revived brand name applied to foreign-made vehicles.
Indeed, the Scout name was used in the 60s and 70s by International Harvester on a line of rugged 4x4s built in Indiana to compete with the Jeep Wrangler and the Ford Bronco, the exact models the revived company wants to go up against.
Source: Automotive News