VW has announced the Chattanooga plant in Tennessee as the production location in North America for its upcoming electric vehicles.
In future, the U.S. plant will build vehicles based on the modular electric MEB platform and VW is investing about €700 million ($800 million) in the facility for that purpose. The expansion of the plant will create up to 1,000 new jobs, not counting the supplier jobs. In addition to the EV, the Chattanooga plant will continue making the Atlas SUV and Passat sedan.
VW estimates the first electric car made in Chattanooga will roll off the assembly line in 2022. That model will be the I.D. Crozz SUV. The automaker will also offer the I.D. Buzz minivan in North America. Part of Volkswagen’s new I.D. family, both are said to offer long driving ranges, spacious cabins, dynamic driving behavior and “a new level of digital connectivity.”
“The U.S. is one of the most important locations for us and producing electric cars in Chattanooga is a key part of our growth strategy in North America,” said Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG. “Together with our ongoing investments and this increase in local production, we are strengthening the foundation for sustainable growth of the Volkswagen brand in the U.S.”
Over the next few years, VW will develop eight MEB plants in Europe, North America and China as it seeks to build up the production capacity needed to sell more than 1 million EVs a year by 2025, which is the target they have set. The brand has also pledged to launch more than 20 all-electric models, the first of which will be the compact I.D. Neo model scheduled to enter production in Zwickau, Germany at the end of the year.