Volkswagen is looking for potential sites to build the Scout SUV and pickup truck:

DAVOS, Switzerland -- Volkswagen Group plans to decide this year on a site in the U.S. to assemble its Scout brand electric pickups and SUVs, CEO Herbert Diess said on Wednesday.

The company is assessing "brownfield sites and some greenfield locations," Diess said here on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

VW CFO Arno Antlitz separately said the company is not ruling out an eventual share listing for the Scout brand, but added that it was too soon for such a decision.

Scout is part of a broader effort by VW to expand its presence in the U.S. market, not just for passenger vehicles but commercial vehicles as well, Diess and other executives said.

The plans are generating controversy among VW's U.S. dealerships because the automaker has not discolsed yet how it plans to sell the vehicles in the U.S. Dealers, through the NADA and state associations, on Wednesday demanded answers from VW brass.

Robert Glaser, president of the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association, this week said the Scout announcement was "very alarming and puzzling — to the current dealer network," which had spent years asking for the very products that the Scout announcement included, and with no mention of how they would be sold.

Meanwhile, Diess said he sees "clear improvement" in semiconductor supplies and expects the automaker's global production can recover during the rest of this year.

He said disruptions to VW's supply chain in Ukraine are also easing.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine temporarily halted production of wiring harnesses and other components used in VW vehicles.

"The situation from Ukraine is under control now if nothing bad really happens anymore we will not lose too many cars," Diess said.

VW plans to spend $7.5 billion over the next five years beefing up its U.S. product line, including the addition of an electric pickup truck, Antlitz said.

Diess said he is confident VW can secure enough batteries to supply its EV production through 2025, but he suggested some rivals could fall short.

"Are there enough batteries? Probably not. Are there as many batteries as we ordered? Yes, for sure," Diess said.
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares warned yesterday that automakers could face a battery supply crunch by 2024-2025.