Volkswagen America today began construction of its electric vehicle production facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Production should begin at the site in 2022, and it will be the German carmaking giant’s North American EV assembly base.
The expansion of the plant includes a 564,000-square-foot addition to the body shop. Volkswagen intends to build both fossil-fuelled engines as well as zero-emissions vehicles on the same assembly line. The Chattanooga site will also be home to a plant for the assembly of battery packs for electric cars.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, Volkswagen Group of America executives were joined by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Germany’s ambassador to the US, Emily Maber, plant leaders and production employees, among others.
Volkswagen is investing around 800 million US dollars in the Chattanooga facility. The German company says that the new facility will create about 1,000 new jobs. Although Volkswagen’s ID. Crozz will initially be assembled in the company’s plant in Zwickau in Germany, the production of the electric vehicle should begin at Chattanooga in 2022.
“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 Gov. Lee said. “We look forward to a continued partnership with VW and the growth of advanced manufacturing in Chattanooga and beyond.”
Tom du Plessis, Volkswagen Chattanooga CEO said that hiring for the new assembly plant will begin in early 2020 and will continue as required. The new positions will include specialists and a variety of electrical, software, mechanical, manufacturing and chemical engineers.
“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.”
Currently, at the Chattanooga site, Volkswagen builds the midsize Atlas SUV and the Passat sedan.
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