VW Turns To Tennessee For U.S. Electric Car Production


It’s happening. Not getting fooled again

Volkswagen has been looking for a place to plant a new electric vehicle factory in the U.S. for some time. Now, it seems they found the perfect spot. To paraphrase The Who from their song “Won’t Get Fooled Again’,” meet the new factory, same as the old factory. That is, the new VW EV factory will be an expansion of its existing facility located in Chatanooga, Tennessee.

The announcement certainly comes as good news for the Tennessee city. The planned plant expansion translates into an initial $800 million investment and an additional 1,000 jobs for the region. The automaker already employs about 3,500 workers at the location, where it manufacturers the Passat and the Atlas SUV. The Chatanooga factory was originally built in 2011.

The electric vehicles that will eventually roll from the expanded factory floor will be based on VW’s MEB platform. This electric-dedicated architecture will underlie a number of different models, most of which will feature the I.D. prefix in their names. The first to arrive in U.S. showrooms will be the I.D. Crozz in 2020. According to the German automaker, the Crozz will offer mid-size crossover space in a compact crossover footprint.

Europe will actually get a hatchback — simply know as the I.D. for now — based on this same MEB platform. And sooner. It should start rolling from a factory in Zwickau, Germany before the end of the year.

We’ve got all the details awaiting your perusal below in the official press release.



HERNDON, VA (January 14, 2019) – Volkswagen AG announced today that Chattanooga, Tenn. will be the company’s North American base for manufacturing electric vehicles.

Strengthening the company’s commitment to an electric mobility future, this expansion of Volkswagen’s U.S. footprint will include an investment of $800 million into the Chattanooga facility and create 1,000 jobs at the plant, plus additional jobs at suppliers. EV production at the site will begin in 2022.

Chattanooga will be the first dedicated location in North America for production of a vehicle using Volkswagen’s modular electric toolkit chassis, or MEB. In addition to Chattanooga, Volkswagen is building the first dedicated EV production facility in Zwickau, Germany, starting MEB production by the end of 2019. Volkswagen will also add EV-production at facilities in Anting and Foshan, in China, in 2020, and in the German cities of Emden and Hanover by 2022.

“The US is one of the most important locations for us and producing electric cars in Chattanooga is a key part of our growth strategy in North America,” said Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG. “The management team, led by Scott Keogh, is committed to continuing to increase our market share in the coming years. Together with our ongoing investments and this increase in local production, we are strengthening the foundation for sustainable growth of the Volkswagen brand in the US.”

Volkswagen of America will offer the first EV based on the MEB platform to customers in 2020. This vehicle will be a series-production version of the ID. CROZZ SUV concept, first shown at the North American International Auto Show last year. This vehicle will have the interior space of a midsize SUV in the footprint of a compact SUV. Volkswagen of America will also offer a multi-purpose EV based off the ID. BUZZ concept.

Volkswagen currently builds the midsize Atlas SUV and the Passat sedan at the Chattanooga factory, which opened in 2011. A five-seat version of the Atlas, the Atlas Cross Sport, will begin production in Chattanooga later this year.

“We could not be prouder to build the future of mobility here in the U.S.,” said Scott Keogh, CEO and president of Volkswagen Group of America. “We’re known as ‘the people’s car’ for a reason, and our EVs will build on that tradition.”

Globally, Volkswagen Group plans to commit almost $50 billion (44 billion euros) through 2023 toward the development and production of electric vehicles and digital services. The Volkswagen brand alone has forecasted selling 150,000 EVs by 2020 worldwide, increasing that number to 1 million by 2025.

“The shift toward electric vehicles is a trend that can be seen worldwide, and Volkswagen’s decision to locate its first North American EV manufacturing facility in Chattanooga underscores Tennessee’s manufacturing strength and highly-skilled workforce,” Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said. “As one of Hamilton County’s top employers, these additional 1,000 jobs will have a lasting impact on the region. I thank Volkswagen for its partnership and also applaud the company for its ongoing commitment to education and workforce alignment, which helps Tennessee build a pipeline of talent for years to come.”

“Volkswagen is continuing to invest in the US to broaden its manufacturing and R&D footprint,” Diess said. “Projects like the electric car production announced today and changes in our sourcing decisions are in line with the current direction of trade policy including the USMCA.”

Source: Volkswagen

Categories: Volkswagen

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27 Comments on "VW Turns To Tennessee For U.S. Electric Car Production"

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As much guff as we give VW, I do think they are setting themselves up to be a serious player in the EV scene.

Yes, yes they are. The new MEB platform looks great, and I love they went RWD for it as a base. I wish they would bring the ID Neo to the US (they won’t), but the ID Crozz looks nice too, but curious on pricing. I suspect that or the Y could be in my future, or maybe Model 3 (haven’t decided there yet, depends on pricing, etc).

Would you buy an M3/Y made in China?

We won’t be able to because Tesla is going to produce vehicles in their under construction Chinese giga-factory for China/Asia.

Tesla’s for North America will be produced in North America and eventually Teslas for Europe will be produced in Europe.

Yeah Teslas for Africa should be produced in Africa..


This. All of it.

I would buy the ID (or Neo or whatever) cash, the first day it is available if they would sell it here. Instead I have to wait longer and buy a larger and likely more expensive car, just because Americans seem to hate small cars.

I wanted an Audi A2, but no. Then I decided I should get the Q2 so I could have an EV, but no, not for you America! So maybe a small EV from VW? No! Seriously, this is getting old…

This 100% . I have a 2016 Golf and my big truck loving coworker/ friend liked the Atlas he saw when he picked me up at the dealer and just can’t believe that I’d prefer my Golf even if was the same price as the Atlas I’d get a NEO even though I only drive about 5000 miles a year and my car only has 15,000 so I don’t exactly need to replace it.

This is why the ill-informed “vaporware” comments drive me nuts.

I think these comments are usually made by people who want to fit in, and think it will score them points. I for one would like this site to remain a bit more impartial. Including its visitors/commenters.

I don’t know, there is a part of the EV interested world that can only accept Tesla, and think everything else is made up…

Indeed, fortunately the tesla myth is dying out, still there are lots of people (highly misinformed) that think the tesla cars and technology is unmatched, in fact tesla cars have a very low build and materials quality and nowadays cars like the Audi e-tron , Jaguar i-pace, Porsche Taycan, Audi e-tron GT are far more advanced technologically than any tesla.

Another Euro point of view
I am a known Tesla skeptic here but nevertheless do not think what you write about technological advance is true, I believe Tesla has some technological advance right now but then others have barely started and the fact that Jaguar, a company with limited R&D resources as compared to giants like VW could produce such a good EV is telling. Probably that release of Taycan with a vastly better lap time around the ring and much shorter charging time will change the situation quite a lot as from that moment the individual unloading 100k EUR or USD for a Tesla will know that he just does not have the best EV out there. Then just thereafter the release of the VW ID will poke Tesla in the eye in something they never were good at, affordable long range EV. I do not believe a second that we will ever see a USD 35k Model 3 or any other Tesla at that price sold in material quantities in the western world. So 2020 will be the year Tesla will be sandwiched from the top and bottom of the market and will loose its charging network advantage. Now about the myth dying… Read more »

???…How is building a $90,000 tall station wagon with faux grille and a hood longer than the Titanic, “more advanced technology than Tesla”?!

Two rows of seating in a price category where Tesla offers three rows and more stowage capacity. Read up on the efficiency (or rather, LACK OF IT) if Indian I-Pace, German e-Tron and Mercedes EQ. The reason they cannot match Tesla is the fact that those companies chose to build small batches of boutique EVs on current ICE model platforms so they can produce very few on the same production line as the ICE series models. Thus the long hood and relatively small interior of e-tron, EQ and 4 passenger Taycan.

Until these OEMs commit to proprietary BEV platforms (as Volkswagen is doing), they will continue to embarrass themselves with the really expensive, underperforming pieces they have now. Stuffing power electronics where gas engines resided and battery packs where gas tanks were will not garner positive results. Don’t let your brand bias blind you. Read the stats.

Don’t you think its because Volkswagen has shown a half dozen or more concepts of the nostalgic bus for many years, always promising but never building it? Or perhaps its Dieselgate. Kind of hard to trust a company that spent so much money trying to convince us diesel could be clean. All along they were installing cheat software into the cars. Sure, all the German carmakers did it. Volkswagen was careless and got caught. Buying back 300,000+ cars looks pretty bad. Or maybe its because talk is cheap and we know OEM ICEmakers cannot show a profit on EVs unless they sell 1,000,000s of them – That they do not know how they’ll phase out ICE cars without going under? Consumers have every right to be suspicous of VW. They PR blast every other day and we see mostly drawings snd concept cars. I believe they will follow through and build a significant amount if cars. Hopefully enough to reach the tipping point where EVs take over our roads, forcing other OEMs to do the same. Tesla cannot do it alone. Volkswagen lost many customers for life. Building EVs and chargers is a smart way to open up the coming… Read more »

In another 351 days VW will launch their EV, is this correct?
Let’s see.

For the I.D. (Neo?), yes – up to 351 days from now.

It says in 2020 for the Crozz, so that is 716 days, or less.

NO ! VW already has an EV since 1975 !! In fact, actually VW sells more EVs in the EU than all teslas put together !

Now, in Q2 2019 (in +-90 days) the ID Neo (probably with month name) will be revealed and the reservations will open.
In November 2019 the ID Neo will enter “customer productions”, the car is already been produced for for test proposals and is being tested in several countries.

Now, in Q3 2019 the ID Crozz (probably with month name) will be revealed.

In December 2019 the ID Neo will start to come out for the customers (just like what happened with the Audi e-tron in 2018), but only in late Q1 2020 will the plant at Zwickau start to produce at is full capacity of 1,500 electric cars per day.

For all those who (appropriately, IMO) say “show me the money” when they hear EV announcements… well, here’s $800M all in one chunk.

So ID will sell in Germany late 2019, and ID Crozz will be imported from Germany sometime in 2020 until the first U.S. – sourced Crozz from Tennessee in 2022 – 2023… That is how I read these projections. Sound about right? This cannot happen fast enough. The ID needs to make it to these shores as well. The big pinch is pricing vs. the Atlas models. Will we see the first cases of an EV from an ICE OEM competing for the exact same customer as their ICE profit centers? My take: Sounds as if Volkswagen is being cagey here. They’ll push the Crozz as the high end product, the Atlas as the affordable one. VW throws around MSRP numbers for the Crozz as exciting and affordable. I’m not buying into the PR. The Crozz may be too expensive by the time it makes it to market. I see in its concept design a bit less wagon and a bit more carlike. I’m trying to determine how they are not going to step on each other’s toes in their marketing of each product. Hoping for non- boutique production numbers. 1,000 employee seems on the scant side if they plan… Read more »

The Crozz won’t compete with the Atlas, it will be closer to the Tiguan. Don’t forget that there will be another VW electric SUV, the ID Lounge which will be a full size SUV coming in 2021 or 2022.


$30,000 300 mile ID needs to be in our N. American market. A RWD, thermally controlled option to the LEAF that outperforms it in every way!

Think about it. Even a base ID (Golf-sized prototype seen blasting around S. Africa) is a “hot hatch”, basically blowing away any iteration of Golf GTI. This gathers TONS of free positive auto press, much like Golf GTI did back in the 1980s when the term “hot hatch” was coined.

This week there’s also an auto show in Detroit of all places, if anyone cares. Wherein you can hear the call to battle of former kings, and queens of the automotive industry, as they loudly proclaim their dedication to leading the ev revolution, just like VW who are again being investigated for installing cheat devices in their latest iterations of clean diesel.
Well here in America everyone gets a soapbox to stand on.

VW bring the NEO to the States.

They aren’t coming to the US willingly, this is all part of the Dieselgate penalty payment.

Don’t be IGNORANT !! Now, please refrain, the grown-ups are talking!