Musical brand

Volkswagen America CEO leaves to lead Scout EV brand

The game of CEO musical chairs continues at the Volkswagen Group as another executive leaves his current position to lead a different brand. Current Volkswagen Group of America Chairman and CEO Scott Keogh has announced he is stepping down after nearly five years to become CEO of Volkswagen’s new all-electric truck brand, Scout.

Similar news emerged from Germany earlier today, as Volkswagen Group Chairman and CEO Herbert Diess announced he was leaving his position with the company and would be replaced by the CEO of Porsche AG, Oliver Blume.

Blume will still lead the Porsche team, but will also take over Diess’s role as chairman of the group board. Current Volkswagen Group CFO Arno Antlitz will assume the role of COO and assist Blume with day-to-day operations.

Long before this news however, reshuffles were already taking place across the Atlantic at Volkswagen Group America, where its CEO has also announced he is stepping down, but his next role will remain with the VW family,

VW South America Chairman Pablo Di Si (left), outgoing VW Group CEO Herbert Diess (middle) with transitioning CEO Scott Keogh (right)

Scott Keogh to revitalize Volkswagen Scout as an electric vehicle brand

Keogh shared his thoughts on his departure from Volkswagen Group of America in a LinkedIn post yesterday, continued the official announcement from VW last Tuesday. Pablo Di Si (seen above), the executive chairman of Volkswagen South America has been named president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America and CEO of Volkswagen North America, replacing Keogh.

Before Diess announced that he too would be quitting (although the location is unclear), he shared the following words about Keogh and Di Si:

Scott and Pablo have played a key role in the turnaround of businesses in North America and South America, respectively. In their future roles, they will be key in seizing historic market opportunities in the United States, taking our growth strategy in the region to the next level.

Volkswagen’s new Scout branding emulates the classic nameplate of the International Harvester Scoo – an all-terrain vehicle from the 60s and 70s – but with a breath of fresh (and non-toxic) all-electric air.

Volkswagen’s advisory board approved the branding proposal last May, after nearly a year of media rumors about its potential revival. The sketch images we’ve seen of the brand so far offer a similar feel to off-road electric vehicles like the Microphone Rivian R1Talthough Scout will likely try to hit the market at a lower price.

Here’s an excerpt from Keogh’s announcement on LinkedIn and his plans for the new Scout brand:

Looking ahead, I’ve accepted the challenge to revitalize Scout in electric form because it’s a brand worth celebrating. A quick Google search for the original International Harvester Scout, and you’ll find the passion that still exists for this legendary brand from the heart of the ribs.
Scout Motors will be able to draw on the capabilities and resources of Volkswagen AG and take its place as an icon among icons. And it will operate with complete independence and autonomy, creating a business conceived and designed exclusively for this region.
As an industry and as a nation, I absolutely believe that our best days are unquestionably ahead of us, and Scout Motors will delve deep into its past to rise up with this new dawn. We will face it with the same courage and determination that built America from the ground up.

Keogh will certainly have his work cut out trying to launch a new brand among a growing list of electrified truck competitors in the segment. However, if there is one thing that Americans particularly love, its trucks, then it can feel good and at home with its new group of potential consumers.

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