VW indicates that this midsize SUV was developed especially for the North American market. It is based on the VW CrossBlue concept car, which made its world debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The decision fits within the framework the Volkswagen Group Strategy 2018 plan, in expanding its industrial footprint in the US, including the investment of US$900 million (€643 million) in the production of the newly developed, seven-passenger SUV, and creating 2,000 additional jobs in the US. The investment in Tennessee will amount to US$600 million (€432 million).
Michael Horn, President and CEO Volkswagen Group of America said: “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.”
R&D and Planning CenterAdditionally, 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, with the creation of approximately 200 jobs for qualified engineers working in Chattanooga. The mission is to listen to and identify American customers’ feedback and to integrate them more into existing and planned vehicle models.
From 2014 to 2018, the Volkswagen Group will be investing more than US$7 billion in the US and Mexico, with the goal to deliver 800,000 vehicles in the US by 2018.
Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said: “Hamilton County is pleased to partner with Volkswagen as they create 2,000 new family-wage jobs which will also generate very positive economic ripple effects for residents throughout our community.”
From his side, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke added: “Volkswagen is one of Chattanooga’s largest and most valued employers. They have brought 12,400 living-wage jobs to our region, employed Chattanoogans and helped build our middle class. This expansion will result in a huge capital investment and thousands of new jobs,”
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWGoA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, Europe's largest automotive group), operates a manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee and houses the U.S. operations of a number of the group's brands including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Volkswagen, as well as VW Credit, Inc. Founded in 1955, the company's headquarters are in Herndon, Va. and has approximately 6,000 employees in the United States where its sells through a network of approximately 1,000 dealers.