Volkswagen’s Scout to Receive $1.29B in Incentives for U.S. Plant

Rendering of the future Scout Motors facility in South Carolina.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed legislation March 20 to approve $1.29 billion in state incentives for Scout Motors, an off-road brand now owned by Volkswagen. Scout is poised to build a $2 billion plant in the state for the production of trucks and SUVs.

South Carolina Commerce Secretary Harry Lightsey said the project may be eligible for up to $180 million in job development tax credits based on hiring.

Scout Motors seeks to create about 4,000 jobs and produce about 200,000 vehicles annually. The groundbreaking of the planned South Carolina plant is expected to take place in mid-2023, and vehicle production is anticipated to begin by the end of 2026, according to a Reuters report.

Scout CEO Scott Keogh said the brand underwent an extensive search for the site of its U.S. plant. “We looked at 74 sites in a dozen states, roughly. The site was ready, the governor himself put together an EV council … to make sure his state was ready,” Keogh said, noting Scout wants to act “like a startup.”

Volkswagen announced in May 2022 its plan to reintroduce the Scout brand in the U.S., offering a new electric pickup and SUV. Scout said the pickup, which will be its first vehicle, will cost about $40,000, and will be made independent of Volkswagen’s MEB platform.

Pickup trucks and SUVs are extremely popular in the U.S. About 80% of Volkswagen’s VW and Audi brands’ sales in the U.S. are SUVs, but the company has no vehicle that competes in the pickup truck segment. Scout’s upcoming all-electric pickup truck could be what the veteran automaker needs to ensure it gets a piece of the emerging electric truck market.

We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.

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