Scout Motors' South Carolina Factory to Focus on Sustainability

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Volkswagen will roll out new Scout-branded EVs in the coming years, and its South Carolina factory is well underway. In addition to the hardware it takes to build thousands of new electric vehicles, the automaker is focused on making the site as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible.

Jan Spies, Scout’s chief production officer, will head the efforts. He’s had a long career helping VW get new production facilities off the ground, including its plant in Chattanooga, TN.

Spies told Automotive News, "The biggest change is not paint or a welding spot. The biggest change is, of course, the ecological impact. People will look at us completely different. Neighbors are much more critical than they have been before. That’s good.”

The automaker will employ electric heat in its paint shop, bucking the trend of using a gas pipeline. Energy-efficient heat pumps will provide heating and cooling. Water usage will be closely monitored, and Spies believes VW and Scout’s efforts will become selling points as customers ask questions about automakers’ sustainability.

“At a certain point, people will say, ‘What are the gallons you’re using per car?’ It’s not asked at the moment, but it will go there. We need to support saving water here.” Volkswagen plans a 1,100-acre site that can build 200,000 vehicles annually. The automaker will employ 4,000 people when the factory is up and running, with the first vehicles scheduled to roll off the line in 2026.

Spies’ view is that the early work he and his team are doing to ensure sustainability will help save money down the line. “The good thing is we’re at the starting point where we’re not having something that we’ll have to throw out again. This is the positive part of a new factory,” he said.

[Images: Scout Motors]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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3 of 20 comments
  • Jonathan Jonathan on May 29, 2024

    I think VW should primarily be concerned with the quality and reliability of.their product. 99% of the population couldn't care less about how environmentally conscious they are, or are not.

    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on May 29, 2024

      True, Apple is something like a $3 trillion dollar company and their corporate environmental consciousness is near zero.

  • 3SpeedAutomatic 3SpeedAutomatic on May 30, 2024

    When picking up International Harvester, VW got rights to the Scout trade name. What about the Travelall?

    It could compete with the Grand Wagoneer, Chevy Suburban, GMC Yukon, Lincoln Navigator, etc. 🚗 🚗🚗

  • Bd2 Absolutely not - do not want to support a fascist, totalitarian regime.
  • SCE to AUX The original Capri was beautiful. The abomination from the 90s was no Capri, and neither is this.It looks good, but too similar to a Polestar. And what's with the whacked price?
  • Rover Sig Absolutely not. Ever.
  • EBFlex No. I buy as little Chinese products as possible.
  • John "...often in a state of complete disarray on the roads" What does that mean? Many examples in poor repair? Talk about awful writing.