On Friday, May 13, VW of America sales and marketing head Andrew Savvas sent a letter to the brand’s 650 dealers, confirming that Scout will be an independent brand within VW Group and that they will have no claim on its products.
The letter did not seem to soothe dealers’ concerns with VW’s plans.
Diess believes that the German automaker can hold a 10 percent market share across all of its brands in the U.S., and he tasked VW of America CEO Scott Keogh with making that happen by the end of the decade. Keogh has said it would be difficult to hit that target without “playing” in the pickup segment, which represents about 15 percent of the overall U.S. market.
VW Group CFO Arno Antlitz said that Scout “will be a separate unit and brand within the Volkswagen Group to be managed independently. This aligns with the new group steering model — small units that act agilely and have access to our tech platforms to leverage synergies.” No executives for the new unit and brand have been named.
VW dealers in the U.S. have been asking for a pickup in their lineup for decades, another dealer, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Automotive News. The dealer said that if VW Group intends to sell Scout vehicles through franchises, “I would hope, after all that we’ve been through together, that we would at least get the first crack at them.”