US – Following its recent emissions scandal, the vehicle-maker has offered assurances that it will continue with planned investments at its factory in Tennessee, which are worth $600m and will create an additional 2,000 jobs in the country. The plant is due to produce a new, midsize SUV from the end of 2016.
“More than ever, we must and will focus on the specific wishes of our US customers so that we can offer them vehicles that are not only convincing, but also inspirational,” said Michael Horn, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. “Step by step, that is how we want to win back trust in the Volkswagen brand.” He noted that the US is “still one of Volkswagen’s most important markets”.
The new SUV, based on the CrossBlue concept, will involve an extra 50,000 sq.m being added for logistical needs. Vehicle production will be integrated into the existing factory structures.
Another new addition at the site is the National Research & Development and Planning Center which is currently under construction. The centre will guide the development of projects for the North American market, in line with changing customer expectations.
To date, VW has invested $1 billion at Chattanooga and currently employs more than 2,400 workers there. The 500,000th US-made Passat rolled off the assembly line in July.