Volkswagen electric pick-up for the US all but ruled out – report


The Volkswagen Group is developing a dedicated electric platform for its revival of the Scout brand, but the German company says it has no plans for a battery-powered pick-up with a VW badge.

The new boss of Volkswagen has thrown cold water on speculation that the German car giant will introduce an electric pick-up in the US, according to overseas reports.

In February this year, former Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess fuelled speculation that the car-maker would develop an electric pick-up to rival the popular Ford F-150 Lightning during a live question-and-answer session on social media platform Reddit.

This was followed in May by the Volkswagen Group announcing its plans to revive the Scout nameplate – previously owned by International Harvester – for a new line-up of electric off-road vehicles in the US.

The Scout brand will be centred around an electric SUV when it launches in North America in 2026, though the company also plans to launch an electric pick-up, underpinned by a new ‘Rugged’ platform.

Despite the Volkswagen Group developing a dedicated platform for Scout’s electric pick-ups, recently-appointed Volkswagen CEO, Thomas Schäfer, told Automotive News the German brand has no plans to use the architecture in its own models this decade.

Above and top: Digital illustrations of an electric Volkswagen Amarok by artist Theottle.

“At the moment, our focus on the line-up doesn’t include it (an electric pick-up),” Mr Schäfer told Automotive News at last week’s Los Angeles motor show.

“We have a clear lineup all the way through the second half of this decade. Then again, in the American market, if you don’t play in certain segments, then you have to stay in a certain market share area. 

“But the question of (Volkswagen’s new Rugged SUV platform) is not our priority at the moment.”

Volkswagen Group of America boss, Pablo Di Si, believes a new pick-up “needs to be electrified” if it was going to be considered for the US, although the executive’s focus is on the booming SUV market.

“What are the relevant segments in the US? SUVs and pick-ups. Are we going to have a pick-up? I will try. Do we have one now? No,” Mr Di Si told Automotive News

“Right now, my focus is on strengthening the SUV portfolio. I will address pick-ups at the right time, but right now, I have other issues to tackle.”

Above: Volkswagen sold the Rabbit Pickup in the US nearly 40 years ago, badged in Europe as the Caddy.

It has been almost 40 years since Volkswagen last sold a pick-up or a ute in North America, having sold the Rabbit Pickup (a Golf ute) in the US between 1978 and 1984.

Volkswagen launched the Amarok in 2010 for markets such as Australia, South Africa, and South Africa, however the pick-up was never sold in North America.

While the first-generation Amarok was designed and built by the German car-maker, the forthcoming second-generation model has been based on the new Ford Ranger.

Jordan Mulach

Jordan Mulach is Canberra/Ngunnawal born, currently residing in Brisbane/Turrbal. Joining the Drive team in 2022, Jordan has previously worked for Auto Action, MotorsportM8, The Supercars Collective and TouringCarTimes, WhichCar, Wheels, Motor and Street Machine. Jordan is a self-described iRacing addict and can be found on weekends either behind the wheel of his Octavia RS or swearing at his ZH Fairlane.

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