VW to build midsize SUV in Chattanooga

Future midsize VW SUV

Future midsize VW SUV

  • Winterkorn: “This model will play a key role for Volkswagen’s presence in North America”
  • Volkswagen Group of America to invest approximately $900 million in the project
  • Second model to be produced in Chattanooga, in addition to the US-built Passat, starting from the end of 2016
  • Approximately 2,000 additional jobs to be created
  • Establishment of a National Research & Development and Planning Center in Chattanooga
  • Group Works Council Chairman Osterloh to be named a member of the Board of Directors of Volkswagen Group of America

BY GERRY MILES

It was, I suppose, the next natural step: building a midsize SUV for VW.

They’ve got two tongue-twisting models already: the full-sized Tourag and the smaller Tiguan, so I’d expect the future midsize to follow with a similar silly name beginning with the letter “T.”

“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 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.”

From 2014 to 2018, the Volkswagen Group will be investing more than US$7 billion in the US and Mexico. It is Volkswagen’s goal to deliver 800,000 vehicles in the US by 2018.

“Today is an exciting day not just for Chattanooga and Hamilton County but for all of Tennessee, and I want to thank Volkswagen for its significant long-term investment in our state,” Governor Bill Haslam said. “The impact of this announcement goes far beyond the 2,000 new jobs because of the large multiplier effect of the automotive industry, and adding an additional manufacturing line and the National Research & Development and Planning Center sends a clear signal that Tennessee can compete with anyone in the global marketplace.”

At Chattanooga, the new SUV will be integrated into existing plant structures. Existing areas in production will be used for the assembly of the midsize SUV. A total floor space of 50,000 m² (approx. 538,000 sq ft) will be added to the existing production facility. The midsize SUV, which is based on the CrossBlue concept vehicle, was developed especially for the North American market. The CrossBlue made its global debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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