VW Will Build Electric Cars in TennesseeJanuary 15, 2019
Volkswagen has chosen Chattanooga, Tenn., as the site of its electric vehicle manufacturing in the U.S. starting with its ID sub-brand cars in 2022, about two years after the first ID models become available in the U.S. The German automaker plans to invest $800 million in the Chattanooga facility and will create 1,000 jobs at the plant alone, in addition to more jobs at parts suppliers. The hotly-anticipated decision came weeks after rumors that Volkswagen had been looking for an additional site in the U.S. after making plans to convert several German plants to EV production in the coming years.
Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess made the announcement at the Detroit auto show in the presence of the outgoing and the incoming Tennessee governors and other VIPs from Tennessee.
“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 Dr. Diess. “The management team, led 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 ID models will land in 2020, starting with the production version of the ID Crozz SUV, which was previewed in concept form earlier in 2017. The production version of the ID Buzz concept will also be among the first electric VW models to launch in the States.
“The shift toward electric vehicles is a trend that can be seen worldwide, and Volkswagen’s decision to locate its first North American EV manufacturing facility in Chattanooga underscores Tennessee’s manufacturing strength and highly-skilled workforce,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. “As one of Hamilton County’s top employers, these additional 1,000 jobs will have a lasting impact on the region.”
Chattanooga will be the first site in the U.S. to produce vehicles based on the MEB platform, but the first EVs will roll off the line later this year in Zwickau, Germany. VW plants in the German cities of Emden and Hannover will join EV production in 2022, while VW plants in the Chinese cities of Foshan and Anting will get a started a little earlier, in 2020.
“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.”