The Volkswagen brand is forging ahead consistently with its electric offensive and has now announced the first production location in North America. The German carmaker announced that is investing about EUR700 million (USD800 million) in the plant to produce vehicles based on the modular electric toolkit MEB, a new generation of electric cars.
The expansion of its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant will create up to 1,000 new jobs plus additional jobs at suppliers. The first electric car from Chattanooga is to roll off the production line in 2022. Over the next few years, eight MEB plants are to be developed in Europe, North America and China. Volkswagen is building up the production capacity needed to sell more than 1 million electric cars per year by 2025.
“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 Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG. “The management team lead by Scott Keogh is committed to continuing to increase our market share in the coming years. 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.”
The first electric car to roll off the production line in Chattanooga will be the ID. CROZZ1 SUV model. Volkswagen will also offer the ID. BUZZ1 in North America, the reinterpretation of the legendary VW bus. Both cars are part of Volkswagen’s new ID. family, which will make optimum use of the possibilities of e-mobility. Among other features, the vehicles will offer long ranges, a spacious interior, dynamic driving behavior and a new level of digital connectivity.
“We could not be prouder to build the future of mobility here in the U.S.,” said Scott Keogh, CEO and president of Volkswagen Group of America. “We’re known as ‘the people’s car’ for a reason, and our EVs will build on that tradition.” In addition, the Chattanooga plant will continue to produce the Atlas2 and the Passat2.
Volkswagen wants to make the electric car popular and has embarked on the largest electric offensive in the automotive industry. Over the next few years, the brand will be launching more than 20 full electric models. The first of these will be the compact ID.1, with production starting at the Zwickau plant in Germany from the end of 2019.
By 2025, the Volkswagen brand intends to sell at least one million electric cars per year throughout the world. Further MEB plants are being developed in Emden, Hanover, Dresden and Mlada Boleslav in the Czech Republic. The Chinese market will be served by the Anting and Foshan plants. All in all, the Volkswagen brand is investing a total of EUR11 billion (USD12.58 billion) in future-oriented technologies by 2023, including EUR9 billion (USD10.29 billion) in e-mobility.