US - Volkswagen has announced that it will use its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee as a base for electric vehicle manufacturing in North America. It currently makes the Atlas SUV and Passat sedan at the factory.

“The US 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,” commented Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen. “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 US.”

Chattanooga will become the first dedicated location in the US for production of a vehicle based on VW’s modular electric toolkit chassis (MEB) - the series-production version of the ID. Crozz SUV concept. It may also be home for the production of an EV based on the ID. Buzz concept.

A US$800m investment has been earmarked for the factory in order to ready for EV production, which is slated to begin in 2022. An additional 1,000 jobs at the plant will be added, while more jobs will be generated at suppliers. The money is part of the $50bn total that the VW Group has promised to commit to the development and production of EVs and digital services through 2023.

“Volkswagen is continuing to invest in the US to broaden its manufacturing and R&D footprint,” Diess continued. “Projects like the electric car production announced today and changes in our sourcing decisions are in line with the current direction of trade policy including the USMCA.”

In 2018, AMS published a special report on car manufacturing in North America after visiting several factories, as well as a special report on electric vehicles.