Volkswagen of America Constructs Electric Vehicle Assembly Plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee
When production begins in 2022, the plant will be Volkswagen's North American assembly base for electric vehicles. Volkswagen’s investment will require the addition of about 1,000 jobs.
The expansion of the plant includes a 564,000-square-foot addition to the body shop. Volkswagen will build both internal combustion engine vehicles as well as battery electric vehicles on the same assembly line.
The company also announced it intends to build a 198,000–square-foot plant for the assembly of battery packs for EVs at the Chattanooga site.
“This is a big, big moment for this company,” said Scott Keogh, President & CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. “Expanding local production sets the foundation for our sustainable growth in the U.S. Electric vehicles are the future of mobility and Volkswagen will build them for millions, not just millionaires."
Volkswagen began long-range EV production earlier this month in Zwickau, Germany, and will then roll out assembly worldwide, including in Anting and Foshan, in China, in 2020 and in the German cities of Emden and Hanover by 2022.
Tom du Plessis, Volkswagen Chattanooga CEO, said the expansion signals the start of new, high-tech processes in the plant. Hiring for the new assembly will begin in early 2020 and will continue as needed for ramping up production, he said.
“Electric vehicle and electric vehicle battery production require new and different technical skills than those we currently use,” du Plessis said. “We're working with our colleagues abroad, as well as with the Volkswagen Academy, to ensure our team members are well-prepared.”
Volkswagen currently builds the midsize Atlas SUV and the Passat sedan at the Chattanooga factory. A five-seat version of the Atlas, the Atlas Cross Sport, began production in Chattanooga in October.
“With Volkswagen’s expansion, Tennessee is on the cutting edge of the move to electric vehicles and our workforce is up to the challenge,” Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said. “We look forward to a continued partnership with VW and the growth of advanced manufacturing in Chattanooga and beyond.”
Ambassador Emily Haber added, "The United States plays an absolutely central role in German carmakers’ global activities. German carmakers like Volkswagen have already invested here, in Tennessee and in the U.S. as whole, creating jobs and training young employees. I wish Volkswagen of America and this new facility for electric vehicles all the best and a lot of success."
In January 2019, Volkswagen Chattanooga was announced as Volkswagen’s North American base for manufacturing electric vehicles, representing an $800 million investment. Volkswagen Chattanooga currently employs approximately 3,800 team members. The facility is certified to international standards for energy management (ISO 50001), environmental management (ISO 14001) and quality management (ISO 9001).
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