Volkswagen says top US executive will lead new Scout company

July 19 (Reuters) – Volkswagen Group AG said its top North American executive will lead its new U.S. company Scout, which will build electric pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles.

Scott Keogh, who is president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, has been named chief executive of Scout, an independent company. Pablo Di Si, executive chairman of Volkswagen’s South America region, will become head of Volkswagen Group of America and CEO of Volkswagen’s North America region. Both changes take effect on September 1.

Keogh, who previously led the Audi brand in the United States, has been at the helm of VW of America since 2018.

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In May, VW announced plans to reintroduce the Scout off-road brand to the United States by offering new electric vehicles.

The German automaker plans to invest around 100 million euros ($102 million) in the new Scout brand, two people briefed on the matter told Reuters.

VW announced in May that it would create a separate, independent company to build Scout trucks and SUVs from 2026, which will be designed, engineered and manufactured in the United States for American customers.

Sources told Reuters that VW could potentially seek external funding through investors or an initial public offering to expand production capacity.

VW last sold a pickup in the United States in the early 1980s. The company said the new Scout company was a key part of its goal of achieving 10% market share in the United States .

Volkswagen has moved away from cars in the United States by adding more electric models. SUVs now account for about 75% of US sales of the group’s VW and Audi brands, which account for about 4% of US auto industry sales. US sales of both brands fell about 30% in the first quarter.

The Scout and Travelall vehicles manufactured by International Harvester were the forerunners in function and style of popular SUVs from the Detroit Three automakers, such as the Ford Bronco and General Motors’ Chevrolet Suburban.

Harvester stopped building the Scout and Travelall in 1980 after the oil price shocks of the mid-1970s as it underwent restructuring. The automaker’s Traton SE business acquired US truck maker Navistar in 2020, which owns the Scout name.

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Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Bernadette Baum

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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