On Wednesday, May 11, Volkswagen Group’s Supervisory Board confirmed the company’s plans to launch an all-electric pickup truck and rugged SUV for the US market. VW plans to produce the electric pickup truck and rugged SUV under a separate independent company, named Scout.
Volkswagen aims to start production on Scout’s EV products by 2026. The Scout brand will help VW break into the electric vehicle market in the United States.
“After Volkswagen’s successful turnaround in the US, we are now taking the opportunity to further strengthen our position in one of the most significant growth markets for EVs. Electrification provides a historic opportunity to enter the highly-attractive pickup and R-SUV segment as a Group, underscoring our ambition to become a relevant player in the US market,” said Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG.
The European automaker aims to achieve 10% market share in North America by 2030, with a focus on battery electric vehicles (BEV). VW also announced a $1.7 billion commitment to boost its battery-electric vehicle lineup, R&D, and manufacturing in North America. The United States is central to its expansion plans. Volkswagen plans to build a dedicated battery cell production factory in the US.
“Success in the SUV & pick-up segment is key for further profitable growth in the US. And now we have a unique opportunity for market entry,” noted Arno Antlitz, CFO of Volkswagen Group. “The size of the full-size segment gives us the opportunity to achieve higher unit sales with a small number of models. This offers additional return opportunities.”
Volkswagen will face fierce competition in the EV pickup truck and SUV market in the United States from legacy automakers and EV startups alike. For instance, Ford seems serious about dominating the electric pickup truck market with the Ford F-150 Lightning and other upcoming products. Rivian will be another of VW’s contenders in the EV pickup truck and SUV market.
Then there is Tesla, which will start Cybertruck production next year. However, Tesla CEO Elon Musk believes Volkswagen has made the most progress out of all its competitors in the EV market. Musk acknowledged the work VW put into developing electric vehicles and entering the market during his recent interview with the Financial Times.