Forgotten Nameplate: Scout | Care Expert

The word ‘scout’ has many meanings. In addition to the dictionary definition of sending someone before a group to search for something or gather information, it has the effect of being the first to do something, or inventing and breaking new ground.

Perhaps this is why the Volkswagen Group’s Skoda brand has recently used the ‘Scout’ Monica to brand high-riding, rough-road ready versions of its Octavia and Superb wagons.

But recently, the Volkswagen Group said it would go even further: scout naming creates a brand in its own right.

The Volkswagen Group says the Scout brand will have a range of electric, off-road ready 4 × 4 vehicles designed and manufactured in the US, primarily for the American market.

How did it come to be, and is there any Australian link?

More: Scout, a new VW brand will launch Electric UT in 2026
More: Volkswagen Introducing Scout as Rugged EV Brand – Report

Scout nameplate and history of Australian presence

The Scout nameplate is closely linked to the International Harvester (IH) brand.

International Harvester, an American manufacturer of agricultural and commercial equipment, was founded in 1902 after the merger of several more companies.

As the name implies, the company specializes in the production of various agricultural and agricultural implements, including reapers and threshing machines, and soon began producing combustion-engineered equipment, such as tractors.

This was followed by a worldwide expansion, and in Australia the company gained our protective import duties by opening factories in Geelong (1937), Dandenong (1952) and Port Melbourne (1958) to produce everything from trucks to earth-moving and construction equipment.

Dominating the agricultural and farm equipment market, International Harvester sought to further diversify its product lineup in the mid-20th century.

The company noticed that the Willis Jeep, which was used by the Allies for great success during WWII, is now being used as a dual purpose vehicle, being equally adept at recreational off-roading because of its supply and equipment over muddy tracks and rough terrain. Carries.

In response, it sought to create more refined competitors and introduced the Scout (also known as the Scout 80) in the late 1960’s, as a MY61 model.

Sold after just 24 months of development, which included compromises such as the original fiberglass body replacement for a cheaper but heavier steel replacement, the original Scout was powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that developed just 69kW of power.

At the time, the IH only made large six- and eight-cylinder engines, and so the four-cylinder was only its eight-cylinder petrol engine with a cylinder bank removed. An advanced Scout 800 was introduced in 1965, with additional convenience features such as the electric wiper, but more importantly the choice of a wider engine with six- and eight-cylinder engines.

The second generation Scout II has been around since 1971, and it was this model that carried the Scout nameplate.

Aside from the unhealthy, Jeep’s original rival image, Scout II features more contour styling and a more refined, upmarket image that inspires various direct competitors, including the spiritual predecessor of the modern SUV, and the Ford Bronco. .

Probably a notable feature between the two generations of scouts was the variety of bodystyles on offer, although the scout has no back door model.

For first generation scouts, buyers can choose between full-length metal or vinyl roofs. For those who want to use their scouts to carry equipment, half-length Ute style cab-tops were also available in metal and vinyl. The vinyl roof was removable, giving customers an open-air interchangeable 4 × 4 experience, perfect for recreational driving.

Featuring a similar second-generation bodystyle, the full-length metal roof traveltop variant now features a distinctive ‘kick’ in the rear window line with an extended rear window.

On top of the first generation body style, Scout II also has two extended length variants called Scout Terra and Traveler. The extra space in the back seat was increased by 46 cm.

The Terra used a half-cab fiberglass top, similar to an Ute, when the Traveler had a full-length top, also made of fiberglass, but attached to the rear tailgate of the hatchback style.

In Australia, both generations of Scouts were sold, but the model gained some traction after the introduction of the Terra and Traveler versions in 1976. Nevertheless, the actual build quality and reliability were lower than those of Toyota and Nissan’s newly introduced Japanese rivals at the time.

In 1981, the Scout’s final year for sale in Australia, the TravelTop and Traveler variants were available, both of which had a 5.6-liter eight-cylinder engine and were priced between $ 14,675 and $ 15,440 (approximately $ 63,973 and $ 67,30), respectively.

The Scout lineup was shut down worldwide in 1980 due to the financial problems of parent company International Harvester.

Volkswagen connection

The Volkswagen connection stemmed from multiple decisions leading to the disintegration and demise of the international Harvester parent company in the 1980s.

Although the Scout lineup was, on its own, reasonably successful, especially in its home market in the US, the parent company International Harvester 4 × 4’s range and spread itself very thin alongside the traditional power of commercial equipment for passenger vehicles, agricultural equipment and trucks.

This resulted in business consolidation and streamlining, all of which involved corporate negotiations to sell IH’s construction and agricultural equipment division, and instead focus on commercial vehicles.

Due to the failure of due diligence, it has now been rebranded to Navister International, which means that the intellectual property of the international harvester brand has already been sold in the equipment category, and engine and truck production continued for the next two decades.

However, with the American EPA issuing stricter emissions regulations for diesel commercial vehicles in the early 2000s, Navigator hedged its bets on exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technology. The company believed that diesel engines equipped with this technology could meet EPA emissions on their own (as opposed to other technologies, such as those implemented with selective catalytic reduction / urea injection).

Unfortunately, this was a fatal error. The company failed to comply with the regulations, was subjected to numerous fines and lawsuits, and was eventually taken over by the Volkswagen Group’s commercial vehicle subsidiary Tratton SE. Initially purchasing a 16.6 percent stake in 2017, a full acquisition was completed by 2021.

Instead, the purchase gave the Volkswagen Group the rights to the Scout brand.

Future lineup and return to Australia?

In addition to confirming that Scout will form an independent brand within the Volkswagen Group, the company has released concept sketches for two potential models and predicts annual sales of up to 250,000 Scout branded models with initial production starting in the United States in 2026.

Volkswagen is rumored to be investing an initial $ 100 million to build the new brand.

The two preview models include an SUV and a ute-style pick-up, both with a distinctive upward kick in the rear window that features Scout II specific features.

Volkswagen further confirmed that these models will use a dedicated 4 × 4 EV platform, which means it is unlikely that they will be based on the same MEB basis shared by the current VW ID. 3 and ID. 4, among other models.

More: Scout, a new VW brand will launch Electric UT in 2026
More: Volkswagen Introducing Scout as Rugged EV Brand – Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.