German automotive giant Volkswagen has entered into a collaboration with Austrian manufacturer and engineering company Magna Steyr, in a deal reported to be valued at €450 million (US$492 million), aimed at the development of robust vehicles for its recently revived American brand, Scout.
This initiative follows Volkswagen's 2022 announcement of the Scout brand's return, coupled with the confirmation of a $2 billion investment in a South Carolina factory dedicated to electric vehicle production.
While specific details about the Scout brand's offerings have been limited, the company has disclosed plans for the production of an SUV and a pickup truck. Reports now indicate that Magna Steyr will play a pivotal role in the development process, with a focus on creating authentic off-road vehicles to compete with well-established models such as the Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler. This strategic partnership aligns logically with Magna Steyr's notable experience, particularly in manufacturing the Mercedes G-Class SUV, renowned for its exceptional off-road capabilities.
In addition to its expertise in crafting rugged vehicles, Magna Steyr boasts a robust background in electric vehicle production, having manufactured models such as the Jaguar I-Pace and the Fisker Ocean. The company's proficiency extends to the development and engineering of complete vehicles for various clients.
Despite attempts to obtain comments from Scout, responses are pending, while a Magna spokesperson declined to comment on speculation, according to AN.
This collaboration is viewed as a significant move for Scout, positioning itself to be a serious contender in the off-road vehicle segment and aiming to honor the legacy of the iconic International Harvester Scout from the 1960s and 1970s.
Volkswagen's strategic alliance with Magna Steyr reflects its broader strategy to appeal to the American market, where the Scout brand is anticipated to play a crucial role in overcoming historical challenges. Production of Scout vehicles is slated to commence in 2026, marking a key milestone in Volkswagen's endeavor to gain traction in a competitive market.