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Scout Motors to build manufacturing plant in Columbia

Scout Motors Inc., is hittin’ the road

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The new Scout electric vehicles will be manufactured in the Midlands. | Photo via Scout Motors

Volkswagon is entering the electric off-road vehicle arena under the Scout Motors nameplate and those new cars will be built right here in the Midlands.

Last November, the Volkswagon Group announced it would revive the legendary Scout vehicle — originally produced from 1960 to 1980 as the world’s first family-friendly utility vehicle equipped for an off-road adventure.

The $2 billion investment has been on the Richland County radar for the past few weeks, but the company was unnamed until Friday afternoon. It was previously referred to as “Project Connect.”

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A rendering of the new manufacturing facility off Interstate 77. | Rendering via Scout Motors

Let’s quickly look at what this investment means for the Midlands and more about Scout Motors.

  • 200,000 — The amount of Scout vehicles produced annually when the facility is at full production capacity.
  • Vehicle production is targeted to begin by the end of 2026, with the first retail sales of trucks and SUVs occurring soon thereafter.
  • A groundbreaking will happen this summer and span property on both sides of Interstate 77 in Blythewood.
  • Scott Keogh, President and CEO of Scout Motors, said that the investment would “bring new opportunities to grow this community of innovators. The world needs more Scouts, and this is an important step in honoring Scout heritage and electrifying its future.”
  • Scout Motors is an independent US company backed by the Volkswagen Group.
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The 1978 International Scout II family of vehicles. | Photo via Scout Motors

The highly anticipated announcement made waves nationwide in the automotive industry. The International Scout family of vehicles is extremely popular among car enthusiasts.

The return of the brand was first reported in May of 2022 by The Wall Street Journal, noting Volkswagen’s bid to expand to the United States, the world’s most profitable auto market.

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