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Scout names new chief design officer ahead of Blythewood plant opening

Christina Lee Knauss //May 30, 2023//

Scout names new chief design officer ahead of Blythewood plant opening

Christina Lee Knauss //May 30, 2023//

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Chris Benjamin has been appointed chief design officer for Scout Motors Inc.

With his appointment, Scout is accelerating development of its all-purpose, all-electric truck and SUV, slated to be in production by the end of 2026, according to a news release.

The Virginia-based EV startup hopes to break ground later this summer on 1,100 acres in the Blythewood Industrial Park where it will manufacture electric trucks and SUVs. The Scout project, announced early in March, is the largest economic investment in the history of Richland County.

Benjamin will oversee interior and exterior design of the Scout vehicles, as well as concept development, user experience and overall integration of design and technology, the release said.

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“Chris’ work is prolific — for nearly 25 years he’s brought to life vehicles that stand out on the road,” said Scout Motors CEO and President Scott Keogh. “His thumb prints are all over many of the most beloved off-road vehicles in the market today. I’m confident that Chris will build on that experience as he defines the next chapter of design for Scout and electric utility vehicles.”

After graduating from Detroit’s College for Creative Studies, Benjamin launched his automotive design career by joining the design team at Mercedes-Benz. In succeeding years, Benjamin pushed design and creativity at brands including BMW, Volvo, and Stellantis, spending time in both Europe and the U.S. Most recently, Benjamin led interior design at Stellantis North America, serving the Jeep, Wagoneer, Chrysler, Dodge, and Ram Truck brands.

 “I’ve been fortunate in my career to shape many off-road focused products that appeal to a broad range of American car buyers,” said Benjamin. “Classic Scout vehicles have always exerted a magnetic pull on me. They created the archetype for the modern SUV in the ‘60s and proved that a daily driver could also be a weekend adventurer. My task now is to balance the iconic design language of the past with all of the innovative possibilities that electrification unlocks.”