VW is trying to repair its image in the United States in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal by announcing that its plans to expand the Chattanooga facility remain unchanged.
VW says it remains committed to previously announced plans to produce a new mid-size SUV for the US market in Chattanooga. The automaker has pledged to invest approximately $900 million (€820 million) in the production of the seven-passenger SUV.
The German carmaker estimates that $600 million (€547 million) will be spent in the state of Tennessee alone, with 2,000 additional jobs to be created at the plant. Production of the new midsize SUV is scheduled to begin in Chattanooga toward the end of 2016. The current space at the plant in Chattanooga will be expanded by 50,000 square meters to make room for the new line, with production of the new vehicle to be integrated into the current plant structure.
“The Chattanooga plant is a core part of our strategy in North America. Here and throughout the region, we will work toward meeting the demands of our U.S. customers and regaining their trust in the Volkswagen brand,” said Michael Horn, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America.
Besides investing in a new manufacturing line for the mid-size SUV, VW has created a new Engineering and Planning Center in Chattanooga, which will house all future projects for the North American market. Thanks to its central location, the center will enable the company to quickly and efficiently implement market-specific changes to vehicles.
VW has already invested more than $1 billion (€912 million) in its factory in Tennessee, which currently has more than 2,400 employees.
Note: 2013 VW CrossBlue Concept pictured