Scout Motors breaks ground

Commerce Secretary Henry Lightsey delivers an address during the groundbreaking ceremony. | Photos: Barbara Ball

BLYTHEWOOD – Scout Motors broke ground on its production center in Blythewood on Thursday, hosting two ceremonies – a morning session primarily for media and local, county and state officials who were eminently involved in bringing Scout to South Carolina, and an afternoon session for only Blythewood residents that provided an update on the project and to answer questions and explain how the project will move forward in the coming months.

On stage during the morning session were Scout Motors CEO Scott Keogh, Gov. Henry McMaster, Commerce Secretary Harry Lightsey, Richland County Council Chairwoman Jesica Mackey, Blythewood Mayor Pro Tem Donald Brock and Dr. Jan Spies, Scout Motors Chief Production Officer.

Longtime Blythewood resident Margaret Swygert and her son Wayne sat on the front row at the morning event and were introduced and thanked for making the Scout project possible by selling their land to Richland County for the site. Keogh also announced that the red brick Swygert home that sits on Blythewood Road will be preserved and used by Scout.

“Today is less about construction and a building and more about a calling and a community,” Keogh told attendees at the morning session. “We’re here to celebrate the revitalization of an American icon and the reshoring of American jobs. On this land – with our hands and with our technology – we will build great vehicles.”

Scout CEO Scott Keogh

“Today’s groundbreaking marks another milestone for Scout Motors and the entire state as we continue to move forward with this project that will supercharge the Midlands’ economy,” said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. “We applaud Scout Motors for their commitment, which will continue to move South Carolina towards a future defined by innovation and prosperity.”

While the event was labeled as a ‘groundbreaking,’ no dirt was turned.

Each of the two ceremonies were held on a giant wood stage, with a tall blue backdrop emblazoned with the orange Scout logo and the Palmetto flag, American flag and Scout flag flying high above it. Beyond and surrounding the stage spread 1,600 acres of graded landscape. The plant facilities will occupy 1,100 acres of that property.

While both ceremonies honored Scout’s heritage, the afternoon session focused on the company’s on-the-ground plans. Keogh said the company was formed to craft the next generation of all-electric trucks and rugged SUVs, and 10 or so original Scout vehicles from around the country that had been driven in for the Thursday event were on display on the grounds when attendees arrived. A video of the vehicles’ cross country trek to Blythewood was shown on the stage backdrop.

At the heart of the afternoon session for Blythewood residents, was a presentation by Dr. Spies of a loose timeline of how the work on the site will progress over the coming months.

He explained that most of the clearing and grading has been done and that crews are currently working to stabilize the soil by drilling 300,000 giant holes in the ground, and filing them with gravel. He said construction crews will be pouring foundations in April and May and vertical construction of the facilities should begin about June. Spies said he expects the buildings will be under roof by the end of the year.

“We could not be more proud to build our Production Center, workforce and vehicles here in Blythewood,” Spies said.  Both Keogh and Spies talked about the warm welcome the company has received from the state and particularly from Blythewood residents.

Spies also answered several questions that residents had sent ahead of the event. Importantly, he assured residents that Scout would be using city water and would not be tapping into the area acquifers that supply local water wells. He also said the residents would be offered tours of the buildings before the doors open.

Spies said vehicle production is targeted to begin at the production center by the end of 2026, with the first retail sales of trucks and SUVs occurring soon thereafter. He also said the plant would, at peak capacity, produce 200,000 vehicles a year here – 40 per hour.

Spies reiterated that Scout Motors’ trucks and rugged SUVs will be built on a newly designed all-electric platform, “engineered to deliver credible capability and off-road prowess, with a focus on ground clearance, approach angles, robust axles, payload capacity, all-electric range, and new digital features.”

The atmosphere of both events – but especially at the afternoon session – was low-key, neighborly and informative, with Keogh and other Scout officials seen chatting one-on-one with many of the Blythewood residents in attendance at the afternoon session.

Blythewood resident Cindy Merrit, who hosts a Facebook site that has been frequently critical of Scout, posted her positive assessment following the afternoon session.

“I was highly impressed at the Scout event,” Merrit posted. “I talked with Scott Keogh and others. I was totally impressed with the young man that is designing the Scout. Over all, it was very informative.”

The site property is bordered approximately by I-77, Blythewood Road, Ashley Oaks subdivision and Fulmer Road. Talking to reporters after the morning session, Keogh emphasized the importance of Blythewood’s strategic location, less than 20 miles north of Columbia and near major cities such as Charleston, Charlotte, Greenville, and Atlanta. A press release touted Scout’s unrivaled access to major highways, ports of Charleston and Savannah, and colleges and universities focused on automotive engineering.

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

To learn more about Scout and the plant site, visit and follow along on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

A temporary stage was built on the production center site behind a Scout barn.
Speakers Scott Keogh, Gov. Henry McMaster, Harry Lightsey, Co. Council Chair Jesica Mackey, BW Mayor Pro-Tem Donald Brock, Dr. Christian Volmer, member of Scout’s Extended Exec. Committee, and Dr. Jan Spies, Scout Motors’ Chief Production Officer.
Blythewood Oil Owner Larry Sharpe, Blythewood Chamber Director Phil Frye, Richland County Dir of Economic Development Jeff Ruble, Fairfield Electric CEO Bruce Bacon and Fairfield Electric Coop Vice President of Member and Strategic Services Doug Payne
Governor Henry McMaster takes questions from the media.
Blythewood’s afternoon crowd
The Scout officials, staff and employees 
Rendering of Scout Production Plant

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]