Scout Looks North in Building Its New Vehicle R&D Facility

Jackson Wheeler
5 Min Read

  • Scout Motors is expanding beyond the South come next year as it announces its first R&D facility in Novi, Michigan.
  • Investing $11 million, Scout says the facility will focus on next-generation engineering, with 200 jobs incoming.
  • Toyota has its own Michigan battery facility impending, and Ford is starting to get back on track with its battery production plans.

It’s been slow-moving for the Volkswagen-revived Scout brand so far, but so goes the task of reviving an obscure but beloved niche automaker. Even so, the path forward is clear for Scout, as it aims to bring electrified boxes back to market below the Rivian price point.

Based in Tysons, Virginia, Scout Motors’ impending factory will also be set in the South, with a claimed annual capacity of 200,000 units a year in Blythewood, South Carolina. Ground will be broken on this manufacturing facility shortly, but Scout will expand beyond the South come 2024.

international harvester scout

An original International Harvester Scout.


That’s because Scout is opening its Innovation Center in Novi, Michigan. Its manufacturing facilities and employees will remain in South Carolina, but Michigan will be its headquarters for researching next-generation technology.

“As we design and engineer our vehicles, Michigan is the perfect place to establish our Innovation Center due to its deep automotive roots, continued investment in innovation, and ability to attract and train a talented, diverse workforce,” said Scott Keogh, President and CEO of Scout Motors.

Scout Motors will spend $11 million on this Midwest facility, though the Michigan Strategic Fund approved a $10 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant in support of the project. Oakland County is also providing a $150,000 grant to aid in facility development.

This facility comes along with 200 new jobs, and Scout says building in Michigan isn’t happening by chance. With top rankings in automotive business analysis surveys and a concentration of industry-focused labor, Scout says the majority of jobs at this facility will be high-wage engineering, design, and development careers.

us automobile unions strike

Michigan Governor Whitmer speaking at a United Auto Workers rally in September.


“Winning this investment proves that Michigan offers the best opportunity for automotive companies—from R&D to manufacturing,” said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Toyota announced its own battery lab in Michigan earlier this year, citing the importance of creating quality batteries for North American customers and climates. Like Scout Motors, Toyota will invest around $50 million of its capital into the York Township facility.

The Detroit Three automakers have tempered their electric developments as of late, but even Ford is back on track with its own Michigan battery plant. After pausing work entirely in September, Ford has resumed planning its Blue Oval Park facility, albeit with a reduction in energy output and prospective jobs.

For Scout’s success, being in Michigan could help it develop better battery technology alongside its older domestic siblings, though Scout has yet to announce any battery company partners.

Additionally, the focus on US production bodes well for providing federal tax credits to customers come 2026 when its first models launch.

At what price point would a new electric Scout Motors model be tempting? Please share your thoughts below.

Headshot of Emmet White

Associate Editor

A New York transplant hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Emmet White has a passion for anything that goes: cars, bicycles, planes, and motorcycles. After learning to ride at 17, Emmet worked in the motorcycle industry before joining Autoweek in 2022. The woes of alternate side parking have kept his fleet moderate, with a 2014 Volkswagen Jetta GLI and a 2003 Honda Nighthawk 750 street parked in his South Brooklyn community.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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