Still reeling from the diesel-engine emissions-testing scandal, Volkswagen is soldiering on in North America with a further $600 million investment in the Chattanooga, Tennessee plant that will build the new, yet unnamed mid-sized SUV.
“Step by step, that is how we want to win back trust in the Volkswagen brand. This clear commitment to the Chattanooga location confirms our engagement in North America and our confidence in the local team,” said Michael Horn, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. “The United States of America is still one of Volkswagen's most important markets. More than ever, we must and will focus on the specific wishes of our U.S. customers so that we can offer them vehicles that are not only convincing, but also inspirational.”
The additional investment, on top of the $1 billion the company has already invested in the Tennessee plant, will help create another 2,000 jobs (in addition to the over 2,400 positions already filled at the plant) as the facility ramps up for production of the mid-sized sport utility (based on the CrossBlue concept).
The Chattanooga site will also house a Research & Development and Planning Centre (currently under construction), which will be responsible for steering projects specifically for the North American market by reacting to present and future consumer trends more quickly.
The facility is in the midst of a 50,000 square meter expansion in preparation for production of the new SUV that is due to begin at the end of 2016