Volkswagen is reportedly planning to build a second electric SUV in North America after production of the ID.4 started at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee last year.
According to a report from German business newspaper Handelsblatt, VW has decided last week to build a compact electric SUV smaller than the ID.4. The new model would be made from the middle of the decade either at its US plant in Chattanooga or in Puebla, Mexico. A spokesperson confirmed such plans to the publication but declined to comment on details.
While the article does not mention on which platform the new EV would be based, the revised MEB+ architecture looks like a safe bet. This could mean the new model is likely to be made in Chattanooga, which is already building an MEB-based model, the US version of the ID.4.
The Chattanooga plant has another thing going for it, namely the fact Volkswagen is said to be considering a battery cell plant in Canada's Ontario province. The US plant is much closer to Canada than Volkswagen's factory in Mexico, and that could mean a shorter transport route.
Gallery: Volkswagen ID.4 assembly at Chattanooga plant in Tennessee
According to the same report, Volkswagen's PowerCo battery subsidiary has taken a step forward in its search for a location for the first battery cell factory in Canada, with Ontario listed as a possible site. According to a Volkswagen spokesperson, no final decision has yet been made on the factory.
That said, the automaker has already announced that it would invest in material mines in the country. Furthermore, VW's battery material partner Umicore is planning its first factory in North America for production of cathode and precursor materials for EV batteries in the Canadian province of Ontario.
Back to Volkswagen's compact electric SUV, it is not clear what model the automaker is thinking about, but it could be the ID.3 SUV teased by VW brand CEO Thomas Schäfer in October 2022.
At the time, Schäfer said Volkswagen Group's core brand will be introducing 10 new EVs by 2026, including a compact SUV based on the ID.3 hatchback. To avoid cannibalizing sales, the ID.3 SUV will be smaller than the ID.4, likely echoing the VW T-Roc's market positioning in relation to the Tiguan.
Thomas Schäfer previously told Autocar that the ID.3 SUV would look dramatically different to the ID.3 when it arrives before 2026.