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Volkswagen to revive dormant Scout brand to aid American growth push

Volkswagen is set to revive the Scout offroading vehicle brand to bolster its expansion in the U.S., where the company has long struggled due to a lack of popular sport utility vehicle and pickup models in its lineup.

Europe's biggest carmaker plans to introduce an electric SUV and a battery-powered pickup truck under the Scout nameplate, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. VW's board of directors is expected to sign off on the move later on Wednesday. VW declined to comment.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the plans, saying VW aims to invest more than $1 billion to ready the project, is open to inviting in external investors, and eventually may take the business public.

Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess has vowed to turn around Volkswagen's performance in the U.S., where it has languished behind domestic brands in part because it lacked models in the lucrative pickup truck sector.

Succeeding won't be easy. Japanese automakers' efforts to ding Detroit's dominance of pickups have largely failed, with Toyota's Tundra and Nissan's Titan never coming close to the volumes mustered by Ford's F-Series or General Motors' Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra twins.

Scout vehicles competed with the Ford Bronco and Land Rover and Jeep models from the 1960s until the business ceased production in 1980. VW bought the name as part of its acquisition of Navistar International Corp. in 2020.