Volkswagen’s forthcoming seven-seat SUV will be built at the Chattanooga factory in Tennessee, USA.
Part of the VW Strategy 2018 plan, the German manufacturer is set to invest the equivalent of £530million in America to develop this new model, creating 2,000 additional jobs in the process.
Two-thirds of these funds will make their way to the Tennessee plant, which will expand by 538,000 sq ft and also become home to a new, independent National R&D and Planning Centre for the VW Group’s North American activities.
“We are now launching the second phase of the Volkswagen campaign in the US,” explained Group CEO Marin Winterkorn. “With the midsize SUV, the expansion of the Chattanooga plant and the new development centre, the focus is on the wishes of the US customer. This is also a strong signal for the US as an industrial and automobile production location.”
VW is set to put its money where its mouth is by investing more than £4.1billion in the North American region between now and 2018, as part of its goal to deliver 800,000 vehicles in the US by the end of that period.
The as-yet unnamed seven-seat SUV is expected to lead this sales drive when it arrives in 2016, and will be based on the CrossBlue concept that debuted at last year’s Detroit Motor Show. Designed for American buyers, insiders have previously hinted it could be sold elsewhere if demand proves strong enough.
Coinciding with this announcement, VW also confirmed that Bernard Osterloh, chairman of the Group Work Council and therefore responsible for workforce representation, will join the company’s American Board of Directors.