It’s been less than nine years since the first Passat rolled out of the then-new Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, Tenn. Since then, the factory has assembled hundreds of thousands of Passat vehicles and Atlas SUVs, and just last month began assembling its third model, the Atlas Cross Sport five-seater SUV.
Today, Volkswagen and government officials marked the start of the process that will end with the fourth new vehicle rolling out of Chattanooga – and the first long-range electric vehicle assembled by Volkswagen in North America.
Thanks to a factory expansion of about $800 million that’s expected to add about 1,000 jobs, Volkswagen plans to begin assembling the production version of the ID. CROZZ at the plant in 2022, based on its flexible modular electric toolkit platform also known as MEB.
“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 expansion includes a 564,000-square-foot addition to the body shop. At completion, Volkswagen will produce internal combustion engines and battery-electric vehicles on the same assembly line, an efficient and unusual combination. In addition, Volkswagen will add a new 198,000-sq. ft. facility to assemble battery packs for electric vehicles.
This investment in Chattanooga is part of Volkswagen’s larger, global commitment to EVs. Earlier this year, the Volkswagen Group announced its plan to pledge approximately $33 billion through 2023 toward the development and production of EVs worldwide. Beyond a production version of the ID. CROZZ, Volkswagen has pledged to bring the ID. BUZZ to market in the United States, with plans for more electric models to come in the future. The initial version of the ID. CROZZ production car will be made in Germany before production moves to the United States.
“With Volkswagen’s expansion, Tennessee is on the cutting edge of the move to electric vehicles and our workforce is up to the challenge,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. “We look forward to a continued partnership with VW and the growth of advanced manufacturing in Chattanooga and beyond.”