VW to invest $340 million in new 5-seat, Chattanooga-built SUV
Saying a five-seat version of the Atlas SUV fits in one of the hottest-selling parts of the U.S. market, Volkswagen pledged Monday to spend $340 million to build a third vehicle in Chattanooga.
"It's exactly what we need to continue our growth momentum," said Hinrich J. Woebcken, Volkswagen Group of America's president and chief executive, at the Chattanooga plant.
Production is to start in the last quarter of 2019, he said about the vehicle based off the seven-seat Atlas. The new SUV will have four doors, like the Atlas, though just two rows of seats instead of three.
No name for the new SUV was disclosed, nor the price. A concept of the vehicle will be unveiled next week at the New York International Auto Show as just a rendering of the SUV was shown at the plant.
VW, which now employs nearly 3,500 people in Chattanooga, could hire more workers depending on sales volumes of the new SUV and the other vehicles assembled at the plant, according to the company.
Gov. Bill Haslam cited the new money VW plans to spend, which brings the German automaker's investment to more than $2.1 billion related to its Chattanooga factory over a decade or so.
By Mike Pare, Times Free Press Read More