The Volkswagen Group has announced that it will build its upcoming 7-passenger crossover at its Chattanooga plant in Tennessee. To do so, the group will invest a total of $900 million USD (€643 million) to set up production for the much-needed vehicle, with about $600 million USD (€432 million) earmarked for Tennessee. The move is expected to create 2,000 additional jobs in the U.S.
“The United States of America is and will remain one of the most important markets for Volkswagen. Over the past few years, we have achieved a lot there. We are now launching the second phase of the Volkswagen campaign in the US. With the midsize SUV, the expansion of the Chattanooga plant and the new development center, the focus is on the wishes of the US customer. This is also a strong signal for the US as an industrial and automobile production location. The Volkswagen brand is going on the attack again in America,” said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, in Wolfsburg.
The vehicle will be integrated into existing structures of the Chattanooga plant, while a total floor space of 50,000 m² (approximately 538,000 square feet) will be added to the existing production facility.
“The Chattanooga-built midsize SUV will allow us to fulfill the wishes of our dealer network, bringing new customers to our showrooms and additional growth for the brand,” said Michael Horn, President and CEO Volkswagen Group of America. “We are eager to be entering this growing vehicle segment with a world-class, seven-passenger SUV from Volkswagen.”
The midsize CUV was previewed by the CrossBlue concept vehicle, which made its global debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The concept was developed especially for the North American market, and we don’t expect the production model to stray too far from that formula, nor be available in markets outside of North America. When it does arrive in roughly two years, the VW will battle the likes of the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Traverse, Mazda CX-9, Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, and Hyundai Santa-Fe, among others.
Stay tuned as we learn more.