You can forget about a Volkswagen-branded pickup launching on our shores at any point in time. The German automaker has decided to move on.
That’s what Volkswagen Group of America CEO Pablo di Si told U.S. media at the Chicago Auto Show this week. Alas, he didn’t provide details or a justification for nixing the idea.
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A year earlier at this same event, Hein Schafer, who is the Senior Vice President of Product Marketing and Strategy for Volkswagen of America, assured The Car Guide that the company was still considering the possibility to sell a pickup sporting the VW logo in the U.S. and Canada.
It likely would have been a compact or midsize pickup featuring electric propulsion. At least that’s what Schafer hinted at. All the pickups in that segment right now are conventionally powered. EV alternatives in the Canadian market exist only in the full-size segment including the Ford F-150 Lightning, GMC Hummer EV, Rivian R1T and soon the Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC Sierra EV, Ram 1500 REV and Tesla Cybertruck.
Don’t be so disappointed, though. The Volkswagen Group does have an electric pickup planned for North America, but it will be sold under its new Scout brand along with an electric SUV starting in late 2026.
The two vehicles will boast rugged styling and impressive off-road capability. They will be assembled at a new factory that’s currently under construction in South Carolina, with a target of up to 200,000 units a year, as part of a $2 billion USD investment.
Prototypes are expected to debut this summer, according to teasers posted by Scout. It will be interesting to see how they draw inspiration from International Harvester products that were sold during the 1960s and 1970s.
In related news, while speaking with Reuters this week, Pablo di Si reiterated the Volkswagen Group’s commitment to launch over 25 new EVs in North America by 2030, as announced in March 2022. This includes investments of $7.1 billion USD over five years to boost its product portfolio, regional R&D and manufacturing capabilities.