Following an announcement in May that it would be reviving its off-road Scout brand for an all-electric future, Volkswagen is reportedly in talks with contract manufacturer Foxconn to help manufacture the vehicles. Additionally, VW is considering Magna Steyr as another notable option.
Scout is the classic nameplate that dates back to the International Harvester Scout – an off-road vehicle from the ’60s and ’70s. Following previous rumors that Volkswagen Group was considering a revival of the name, the German automaker confirmed its intentions earlier this year.
Better yet, it shared that Scout would return as an entirely-EV brand, targeting a similar demographic as the Rivian R1 EVs, but at a lower price point (probably). Two months later, Volkswagen Group president for North America Scott Keogh announced he was stepping down to become the new CEO of the reborn Scout brand.
Since then, news pertaining to the all-electric Scout vehicles has remained relatively quiet apart from the company’s new CEO proclaiming the potential to share EV technology to create future Volkswagen pickups, and the group’s global head of passenger cars saying otherwise.
In fact, we’ve only seen the teaser images of the potential Scout EVs displayed above and below. As Volkswagen morphs this off-road renaissance into a viable brand, it is reportedly seeking a partner… or at the very least, a seasoned contract manufacturer to help bring its designs to fruition.
VW looks to revive Scout with help of Foxconn (or Magna)
According to a report from Automobilwoche out of Germany, the sister site of Automotive News Europe has been in touch with multiple sources at Volkswagen that state the automaker is in talks with Foxconn to manufacture Scout EVs for it.
Foxconn is a Taiwanese contract manufacturer that specialized in personal electronics like iPhones before recently beginning to expand vehicle manufacturing. This past May, Foxconn officially closed on the purchase of a manufacturing facility in Lordstown, Ohio, previously owned by Lordstown Motors and GM before that. It is here that Foxconn now manufactures the Lordstown Endurance pickup, which kicked off production in September.
Additionally, Foxconn has manufacturing agreements with Indi EV, Monarch Tractors, and will soon build Fisker Inc’s second model, the PEAR, on US soil. Not to be outdone, Foxconn introduced two EV models of its own this past October, including a pickup. Due to its manufacturing experience, US a footprint with fresh funding, and EV platform technology in place, a deal between VW, Scout, and Foxconn would make a lot of sense… but not so fast.
The report also states that Volkswagen is also talking to rival contract manufacturer Magna-Steyr, which exists as an Austrian facility owned by Magna International. The sources say that Magna could potentially co-develop the off-road EVs alongside scout.
Earlier this month, Magna-Steyr began production of the Fisker Ocean in Graz, Austria and as we’ve previously reported, and been flirting with the idea of bringing EV manufacturing to US soil in order to qualify for federal tax credits under revised terms in the Inflation Reduction Act. That could be another sweetener in a potential deal, should Volkswagen go that route. However, Foxconn already has US manufacturing and might make more sense if VW wants Scout EVs to qualify for credits.
Volkswagen said it would not comment on any speculation about potential partnerships at this time, but a spokesperson for the company did share the following:
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.
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