Volkswagen plans to expand its foot print in the United States. As part of the company’s Strategy 2018, the Board of Directors of Volkswagen Group of America have decided to award the production of the new midsize SUV to the Chattanooga plant in Tennessee. The Group will be investing a total of approximately USD 900 million in the production of a newly developed, seven-passenger SUV, and creating 2,000 additional jobs in the US. About USD 600 million will be invested in Tennessee.
Expressing his views on the Tennessee plant, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft said, “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.”
Michael Horn, President and CEO Volkswagen Group of America added, “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. We are eager to be entering this growing vehicle segment with a world-class, seven-passenger SUV from Volkswagen.”
Apart from investing in the production of a new vehicle, the Chattanooga location is to receive a new, independent National Research & Development and Planning Center of the Volkswagen Group of America for project coordination in the North American market. The objective is to identify customers’ feedback in the market and to integrate them more expeditiously into existing and planned vehicle models.
Speaking about the upcoming production facility at Chattanooga, Governor Bill Haslam said, “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. 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. The midsize SUV is based on the CrossBlue concept vehicle, which made its global debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and is developed especially for the North American market.
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