Friday, 20 April, 2018

Volkswagen to announce US$340 million Tennessee investment to build new SUV

Volkswagen Atlas 5_seater_front_1 New 5-passenger Volkswagen SUV to be made in Chattanooga
Heather Davidson | 20 March, 2018, 04:29

As American consumers want more family-friendly SUVs, the German automaker is retooling the plant to boost the 7-passenger Atlas production.

Amid much fanfare Monday afternoon, Volkswagen officials announced the next-generation vehicle to be built in Chattanooga.

The five-seat Atlas is based on the same MQB platform as its seven-passenger sibling, although it's several inches shorter than the bigger Atlas.

We'll have the official details live from NY next week. The new Atlas concept vehicle will be unveiled at next week's New York International Auto Show.

The move comes after President Donald Trump earlier this month imposed steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, a move that drew sharp criticism from U.S. trading partners and prompted European Union officials to threaten to retaliate against some USA goods.

VW's plans to locate another model at the Chattanooga plant, its only USA factory, have been in the works for several years, said Kristin Dziczek, director of the industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research. The five-seat Atlas will be the third Volkswagen model to be produced at the Chattanooga, after the Passat and seven-seat Atlas.

"They needed to fill out that plant for business economic reasons, not for trade reasons", she said. Nissan, for example, recently started selling the Rogue Sport, a smaller and peppier version of its popular and larger Rogue crossover.

Volkswagen will begin producing a 2-row, 5-passenger variant of its all-new 2019 Atlas SUV at its Chattanooga, Tenn., assembly plant.

Volkswagen will invest another $340 million to build SUVs at its U.S. factory, a sign of confidence despite rising friction on worldwide trade, the company announced Monday. "We are not only committed to this market, we are committed to our USA manufacturing home in Chattanooga, Tennessee".

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