VW ChattanoogaUS – The first phase began in January and will continue for the next two years, in preparation for the manufacture of a new mid-size SUV. The assembly, body and paint facilities will all be expanded, adding a total of 512,886 sq.ft.

The bodyshop will add space on the north and south sides of the plant, while the assembly hall will expand to the west and the paintshop will receive a second automated production line. A new will warehouse be constructed to the east of the factory.

In addition, a National Engineering and Planning Center will be temporarily located in a building adjacent to the factory. The R&D hub will accommodate product-related functions such as technical scouting, innovation management and product management. More than 200 new engineers are being recruited for the center; eventually, 2,000 workers will be hired for production of the new SUV.

Christian Koch, CEO and president of Volkswagen Chattanooga, commented: “A lot of hard work is going into adding this second vehicle line to the plant, but it is crucial to our efforts to move forward in America.”

The new SUV was assigned to be built at Chattanooga in the summer of 2014 and is scheduled to enter production at the end of 2016. In addition, the facelifted Passat will begin this summer.