The plant will create about 1,000 new jobs.
Volkswagen continues its heavy investment into building electric vehicles with an $800 million expansion project at its Chattanooga, Tennessee assembly plant. The company broke ground on a new battery pack assembly plant Wednesday, as it prepares to bring its MEB platform vehicles to the U.S. in 2022. “This is a big, big moment for this company,” said Volkswagen Group of America CEO Scott Keogh.
The Chattanooga plant currently builds the Passat sedan and the Atlas mid-size SUV, as well as the recently unveiled Atlas Cross Sport. In addition to the 198,000-square-foot battery pack facility, Volkswagen also plans to expand the body shop by 564,000 square feet.
In total, the company says the move to expand the Chattanooga plant should create about 1,000 new jobs in the state. Hiring for the new assembly will begin in 2020. From there, it will continue as VW ramps up production in preparation for its first U.S.-market EV model. While we won’t get the ID. 3 hatchback that just started production in Zwickau, Germany, we will get a production model based in the ID. Crozz concept shown above.
Future expansion plans
Beyond the Chattanooga and Zwickau plants, Volkswagen plans to expand its EV production worldwide. Production is slated to start at Anting and Foshan, China in 2020, as well as Emden and Hanover, Germany in 2022. For the North American market, Volkswagen will use its Tennessee plant as its EV production hub. According to Electrek, Keogh said the plant will be at full capacity by mid-2023.
Currently, the only pure electric model Volkswagen sells in the U.S. is the e-Golf hatchback. TFL is currently testing the best of VW’s current EVs in preparation for the new ID. models in the coming years. Check out our intro video below, and stay tuned for more updates with our long-term tests.