Could a VW-based Scout join the all-terrain tussle?

Volkswagen subsidiary has merger agreement with Navistar International

1979 Scout
Could the Scout, such as this 1979 model, return to join Jeep and Bronco in the off-road popularity contest?

OK, so it’s speculation, but it’s wonderful speculation as the MotorBiscuit website wonders, “Will the International Scout Return?”

Triggering such thoughts was the recent news that Traton has a merger agreement with Navistar International. 

So what? So Traton is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG and will enfold Navistar into a truck-and-bus producing group that includes MAN, Scania and other brands. 

MotorBiscuit points out that, the “International” portion of Navistar International produced vehicles that included the International Scout, one of the pioneering sport utility vehicles.

Could the Volkswagen Atlas share its platform with a future Scout model?

Given the surge in popularity of Jeeps and resurrection of the Bronco brand by Ford, you can see how a new Scout might make for a terrific business case. 

MotorBiscuit also points out that Volkswagen already sells around 70,000 Atlas SUVs in the US, and suggests that the Atlas might made for a nice basis for producing a new Scout. The website also notes that while Volkswagen has 600 dealerships in the US, Navistar has 1,000 such outlets in the US, Canada, Mexico and Brazil, all markets that would seem ripe for a go-anywhere SUV.

As for Navistar International, it traces its history to the merger in 1902 of the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company and the Deering Harvester Company and the creation of International Harvester. In 1907, International Harvester produced the Auto Buggy and a year later the Auto Wagon, an early pickup truck.

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Though focused on agricultural and commercial production, International Harvester also produced pickup trucks and delivery vehicles. For 1959 it launched the Travelall station wagon and for 1961 the Scout. 

Production of such light vehicles ended after the 1980 model year. The company was reorganized as Navistar in 1986.

A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.



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