Volkswagen Group of America CEO Scott Keough is stepping down to helm the automaker’s Scout brand for battery-electric pickup trucks and SUVs.
Keough, who has served as president and chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America since 2018, will become Scout’s president and CEO. He will be replaced by Pablo Di Si, executive chairman of Volkswagen South American Region, on September 1.
The automaker, which analysts say is poised to overtake Tesla as the world’s biggest EV company, announced in May plans to launch a new EV brand in the U.S. Named after the International Harvester Scout, an early 1960s precursor to the modern SUV, the battery-electric brand plans to introduce a pickup and an SUV by 2026.
Volkswagen said it will invest more than $100 million in Scout as part of its effort to bring more than two dozen EV models to the U.S. by the end of the decade and double its market share to 10%.
The company said Scout won’t use Volkswagen’s MEB modular EV platform, a flexible system that underpins vehicles such as the Volkswagen ID.4 and Audi Q4 e-tron compact SUVs and allows Volkswagen Group brands to share costs and boost efficiency.
Volkswagen has not provided details on plans for Scout’s first models but said the pickup truck will be comparable to the Ford Maverick. The strategy allows the automaker access to the strong U.S. pickup segment without competing against the full-size segment stalwarts such as the Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150.
The company hasn’t said where it will produce Scout models, but Volkswagen will build the ID.4 at its factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen Group, said the creation of the new brand “will be pivotal in seizing the historic market opportunities in the U.S., taking our growth strategy in the region to the next level.”