VW Dealers Are Big Mad About the Scout EV Brand

They apparently weren’t informed of the Scout revival beforehand, and it looks like they could miss out on the brand’s sales.

byCaleb JacobsMay 16, 2022 9:31 AM
Volkswagen Scout EV Sketch
VW
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You probably know by now that Volkswagen is reviving the Scout name, spinning it into its own brand with an electric off-road SUV and pickup truck. The VW Group announced this to the public last week, and apparently, the automaker's American dealer network found out at the same time as the rest of us. That didn't make them happy, seeing as they prefer to be ahead of such news, but what's really got them stirred up is that they seemingly won't have a claim to any of the Scout brand's sales.

See, Scout will be yet another independent company in the VW Group's portfolio, similar to Audi, Bentley, Porsche, and so on. Because of that, they won't be sold at existing VW dealers. As Automotive News reports, this has VW retailers all sorts of upset as it's believed Scout could take on a more direct-to-consumer sales approach when it launches in 2026.

"That's what it feels like to me," one anonymous VW dealer told Automotive News. "If we were going to have any involvement, they would have told us something. But they haven't said a word to us, either before or after the announcement."

Supposedly after this quote was provided, VW's head of sales and marketing Andrew Savvas sent a note to all 650 of the brand's stores. In it, he confirmed that Scout will be its own entity and that VW dealers won't have a claim to Scout sales. You can see where this created a rub as trucks and EVs alike are swelling in demand, and the VW Group projects 250,000 Scout sales annually, per the Wall Street Journal.

It's possible that existing VW stores could get first dibs on expansions that include Scout franchies. Another dealer told AN, "I would hope, after all that we've been through together, that we would at least get the first crack at them." There's no guarantee on that yet, however.

I reached out to VW of America regarding the situation, though a spokesperson declined to comment.

We still don't know much about the Scout vehicles themselves, though these sketches appear to show four-door versions of both the SUV and pickup. A single-cab electric truck from the manufacturer seems unlikely, but with any luck at all, they'll at least sell a barebones trim. Maybe—just maybe—they'll price it under $40,000. If all this means we won't have crazy dealer markups on such a rig, then customers might come out ahead.

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