In a press conference yesterday, Volkswagen announced that a new midsize SUV based on the CrossBlue concept will be produced at its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant.
The Group will be investing a total of approximately US$900 million (€643 million) in the production of the newly developed, seven-passenger SUV, creating 2,000 additional jobs in the US. About US$600 million (€432 million) will be invested in Tennessee.
The midsize SUV, which is based on the MQB-based CrossBlue plug-in hybrid concept vehicle, was developed especially for the North American market. The CrossBlue made its global debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The new sport utility will be based on VW’s MQB Modular Transverse Matrix, which means it can host any of a number of powertrain options, according to market demand. Including a plug-in hybrid, as it was shown in Detroit last year.
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.
This will lead to the creation of approximately 200 qualified engineers working in Chattanooga. This decision is another element in the investment program that the Volkswagen Group has launched in the region. From 2014 to 2018, the Volkswagen Group will be investing more than US$7 billion in the U.S. and Mexico. It is Volkswagen’s goal to deliver 800,000 vehicles in the U.S. by 2018.