Volkswagen seems to be looking for outside help in its revival of the Scout brand for an all-electric pickup truck and SUV aimed at the US market.
Should Volkswagen decide to go with Foxconn, it will benefit from US production of the Scout. Under the rules of the Biden administration’s recently passed infrastructure bill, American-made EVs with enough local components can be sold with Federal tax credits reducing the purchase price by up to US$7500 ($11,500).
The automaker has neither confirmed nor denied the accuracy of the report.
“We are very pleased with the progress the Scout team is making and with the enthusiasm it’s already generating among current fans and future customers,” a Volkswagen spokesman told Automobilwoche.
Volkswagen came into possession of the Scout name in 2021 when its Traton truck division bought Navistar, the parent company of International Harvester, the company which built the Jeep-style Scout utes and SUVs from 1961 to 1980.
Foxconn currently owns and operates a car plant in Lordstown, Ohio.
It started out life as a GM factory, producing some of the company’s smaller models, including the Chevrolet Cavalier, Cobalt and, finally, the Cruze. It was sold in 2019 to startup EV automaker Lordstown Motors, with GM loaning Lordstown around US$40 million ($62 million) to help finance the purchase.
After Lordstown ran into financial difficulties, it sold the facility to Foxconn in 2021 for US$230 million ($360 million). Foxconn began production of the Lordstown’s Endurance EV pickup in September this year.
The first member of the Scout range, an electric ute, is scheduled to go into production in 2026. It won’t be based on the existing MEB architecture underpinning the likes of the Volkswagen ID.3 and Cupra Born, Audi Q4 e-tron, and Skoda Enyaq.
The Scout ute and SUV will be based on the R-SUV “new technical platform concept”, but Volkswagen has yet to provide more details about the architecture.
It’s unclear if the talks between Volkswagen and Foxconn extend to platform sharing.
The Taiwanese firm unveiled its intention to extend its contract manufacturing business into automobiles in 2020 when it previewed a modular EV architecture that could be used by new and existing brands.
It has since launched the Foxtron brand, with the first vehicle, the Model C crossover, due to go on sale in Taiwan from the second half of 2023. It will be followed by the smaller Model B crossover and larger Model V pickup truck.