Volkswagen recently broke ground for the construction for its American electric vehicle production facility. The Chattanooga factory, where production begins in 2022, will be Volkswagen’s North American assembly base for electric vehicles.
Volkswagen Group of America executives joined Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Germany's ambassador to the U.S., Emily Haber, plant leaders, production employees and community leaders at the plant for the ground breaking. “This is a big, big moment for this company,” said Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. “Expanding local production sets the foundation for our sustainable growth in the U.S. Electric vehicles are the future of mobility and Volkswagen will build them for millions, not just millionaires."
The automaker’s investment of about $800 million in the Chattanooga facility will create around 1,000 jobs. The production version of the ID. CROZZ will initially be assembled in Zwickau, Germany with the production of that vehicle set to begin in Chattanooga in 2022. The expansion of the plant includes a 564,000-square-foot addition to the body shop. Volkswagen will build both internal combustion engine vehicles as well as battery electric vehicles on the same assembly line.
The company also announced it intends to build a 198,000–square-foot plant for the assembly of battery packs for EVs at the Chattanooga site.
Tom du Plessis, Volkswagen Chattanooga CEO, said the expansion signals the start of new, high-tech processes in the plant. Hiring for the new assembly will begin in early 2020 and will continue as needed for ramping up production, he said. Positions added for the expansion include supervisors, specialists and a variety of engineers specializing in electrical, software, mechanical, manufacturing, chemical and quality.
Volkswagen currently builds the midsize Atlas SUV and the Passat sedan at the Chattanooga factory. A five-seat version of the Atlas, the Atlas Cross Sport, began production in Chattanooga in October. It goes on sale early next year.