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Scout Motors opens offices in Columbia’s BullStreet District

Christina Lee Knauss //November 17, 2023//

Scout Motors opens offices in Columbia’s BullStreet District

Christina Lee Knauss //November 17, 2023//

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The public can now view a model of Scout Motors' future manufacturing site in Blythewood on display in the retail store at Segra Park.  (Photo/Christina Lee Knauss)Scout Motors has officially opened its first South Carolina office in Columbia’s rapidly growing BullStreet district.

Company officials formally announced the move on Nov. 17 at Segra Park in Columbia, home of the Columbia Fireflies baseball team. The company’s announcement came with some holiday flair as a rare 1965 Scout pickup truck decorated for the holidays was on display in the baseball park’s main concourse.

The new Scout offices occupy the entire third floor suite of BullStreet’s First Base Building, immediately adjacent to the park, home of the Fireflies Minor League Baseball team. The suite features multiple conference rooms, a training room and workspace for more than 175 people, according to information from the company.

Twelve employees are already at work in the new offices, soon to be increased to about 30, with an eventual BullStreet workforce of about 100, according to Corey Epps, director of HR business partners for Scout Motors.

“We’re excited about being in the BullStreet District because this is an iconic area for Columbia and we are in the process of bringing an iconic vehicle back to America,” Epps said in an interview with SC Biz News. “This is also a great space for our offices because this is a vibrant area for people in the Columbia area, and it is also a straight shot from here out U.S. 77 to our manufacturing location. Our offices are now located in an area that is a touchpoint for all of the Midlands.”

The move to BullStreet is a key step in the ongoing process of developing Scout Motors’ presence in the Midlands, officials said.

The Virginia-based electric vehicle manufacturer announced in March a $2 billion investment in Richland County to establish manufacturing operations in Blythewood to make all-electric trucks and rugged SUVs. Construction has been ongoing at Scout’s 1,100-acre site in the southeastern quadrant of Richland County’s industrial park off  Interstate 77, and company officials hope to begin production by the end of 2026.

Originally produced by International Harvester from 1960 to 1980, Scout was the world’s first utility vehicle suitable for both off-road and standard urban travel. Now an independent subsidiary of Volkswagen, the brand is being relaunched to produce vehicles in tune with the worldwide growing EV industry.

“This office opening represents another exciting step in our journey to reimagine the iconic Scout brand and vehicles in our future South Carolina manufacturing facility,” said Scout Motors President and CEO Scott Keogh in a statement. “We look forward to contributing to the continued development of this dynamic region.”

Employees at BullStreet will work in operations while construction continues on Scout’s plant in Blythewood, Epps said. He noted that hiring for salaried positions with the company is ongoing, while hiring for hourly positions is expected to begin in 2025.

Locating the offices at BullStreet has a double advantage for the company, Epps said. The close proximity to Interstate 77 will allow easy travel for employees between BullStreet and the Blythewood manufacturing site, and also offer workers easy access not only to the BullStreet District’s retail, residential and hospitality offerings, but to all of downtown Columbia as well. The offices are about a mile from the South Carolina State House.

Studies show location is increasingly becoming a factor in where people decide to work, and the office location could prove to be an important part of Scout’s future hiring, Epps said.

“The office here is going to be a big draw, and that’s important because we need to draw employees with the expertise we need,” Epps said. The BullStreet District with its many amenities could attract potential workers not only from around South Carolina, but other areas, he said.

Officials also hope Scout’s presence at Segra Park will make more people aware of the company and its vision for the future.

The public can see a 3D model of the planned Scout Motors Production Center in Blythewood in the Fireflies’ retail store inside Segra Park, on display through Sunday, Dec. 31. There are also plans to eventually open a public showroom on the ground floor of the First Base Building, where the public will constantly be able to get information about the company and its plans in the Midlands. 

In August, the company announced the hiring of some of its first South Carolina-based team members, including Epps, future Chief Production Officer Jan Spies, South Carolina liaison  Punam Patel  and Wendy Bashnan as director of security and fire protection.

Current career opportunities can be found on the Scout Motors careers page. Potential candidates can indicate their interest in future manufacturing positions by submitting their information at