Scout Motors Inc. (“Scout”) hosted an official signing ceremony of the Project Development Agreement on Monday in Columbia, South Carolina with Scout President & CEO Scott Keogh, Governor Henry McMaster and Secretary of Commerce Harry Lightsey.
Governor McMaster signed House Bill 3604 – or “the Scout bill” – the joint resolution to officially approved the largest economic investment in the state’s history.
The signings of the Project Development Agreement and the Scout bill are important milestones for Scout’s first manufacturing facility near Columbia. The facility has the potential to create 4,000 or more permanent jobs and produce more than 200,000 all-electric Scout SUVs and pick-up trucks per year.
Earlier this week, the House and Senate approved the $1.3 billion package to support the opening of Scout’s $2 billion production plant in Blythewood. The package includes $25 million to build a publicly owned Midlands Technical College training center for employment with Scout. The plant, which is expected to break ground in mid-2023, could generate up to $15 billion for South Carolina’s economy by 2029.
“South Carolina has worked hard to build a global reputation as a leader in automotive manufacturing,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “By adding Scout Motors, we further bolster this reputation and demonstrate that South Carolina has all the components in place for companies to achieve long-term, generational success. We’re proud to work with Scout leadership to welcome this iconic brand home to South Carolina.”
Less than 20 miles north of Columbia, Scout’s 1,600-acre site is strategically located in close proximity to major cities, universities focused on automotive engineering, and talent hubs. South Carolina is the No. 1 state for manufacturing and an established leader in the global automotive industry with more than 500 automotive-related companies and 75,000 automotive industry employees. The state’s nationally acclaimed workforce training program, readySC, works with technical colleges and industry, higher education, and statewide partners to develop the diverse skills needed to support electric mobility-related manufacturing, services and innovation.
“Scout is home in South Carolina and we’re focused on providing opportunities that benefit the greater community,” said Keogh. “In partnership with Gov. McMaster, we will invest in this community and provide important development, training, and employment opportunities. The warm welcome we’ve experienced thus far is a true testament to the power of this American moment, and South Carolina will be the heart of our operation.”
Scout’s trucks and rugged SUVs will be built on a newly designed all-electric platform that will be designed to deliver credible capability and off-road prowess. With internal engineering focused on attributes including ground clearance, approach angles, robust axles, payload capacity, all-electric range, and new digital features, Scout products will honor its heritage while injecting fresh American ingenuity to create a new era of iconic all-purpose vehicles.
“South Carolina is proud to welcome Scout Motors home,” said South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III. “Scout’s historic investment, just outside our capital city of Columbia, signals the company’s commitment to long-term growth in North America and beyond. We’re proud to say that South Carolina has the infrastructure, growing talent pool and business-friendly climate to not only serve Scout today, but to help the legendary brand flourish well into the future. We’re excited to begin this journey with Scout Motors.”
Scout Motors is an independent U.S. company, backed by Volkswagen Group, with an experienced Board of Directors, including Dr. Gernot Doellner, Head of Group Strategy at Volkswagen AG, and Peter Bosch, Member of the Bentley Motors Board for Manufacturing. Scout is currently evaluating the potential for outside investment.
About Scout Motors
The Scout, originally produced by International Harvester from 1960 to 1980, was the world’s first utility vehicle capable of both off-road adventure and family duty. It was the 8-day-a-week truck. Scout is an American icon whose heritage is honored by a dedicated community of doers that continue to push their vehicles on the farm, in the wilderness, and on family outings.
Scout Motors was formed to craft all-electric trucks and rugged SUVs rooted in the same tradition that made the original Scout an American icon. Scout Motors is revitalizing a legend and returning manufacturing to American shores.
Scout Motors is headquartered in Tysons, Virginia. Vehicle production is targeted to begin by the end 2026, with the first retail sales of trucks and SUVs occurring soon thereafter.