VW made a surprise announcement that it would be bringing back the historic Scout nameplate for an electric offroader, but it appears that it wasn’t just a surprise for fans of the brand, but also for Volkswagen’s dealers as well.
According to a recent report from Automotive News, the lack of communication from the German brand has caused dealers to worry about the possibility of direct sales, cutting out the middle man completely.
“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.”
A letter sent to the brand’s 650 dealers across the US from sales and marketing head Andrew Savvas said that they would have no claim on its products. Another dealer said that it had hoped to get “first crack” at an electric pickup if the brand offered one, as they’ve been calling on VW to build one for decades.
Volkswagen plans to revive the name as not just a standalone vehicle model, but as an entire electric offroad sub-brand that will compete with the likes of Ford, Jeep, Chevrolet, and Rivian and their electric truck offerings. This will put VW in a position to capture 10 percent of the market share across all brands in the United States, part of a plan laid out by chief executive Herbert Diess.
“[Scout] will be a separate unit and brand within the Volkswagen Group to be managed independently,” Arno Antlitz, VW Group chief financial officer said. “This aligns with the new group steering model — small units that act agilely and have access to our tech platforms to leverage synergies.”
VW will confirm how it plans to sell the new Scout closer to the reveal date, when we’ll find out if dealerships will be left out in the cold or not.