VW starts to build its big-size SUV at Chattanooga facility
Volkswagen started production at its Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant for the Atlas sport utility vehicle, the biggest vehicle VW has ever made in America.
The new unit, which will be sold on dealer lots next year, began rolling off the assembly line this week in Chattanooga as part of a US$ 900 million upgrade to the VW assembly plant located in the Enterprise South Industrial Park, revealed the Times Free Press.
Despite early chatter that the future SUV could be built in Mexico, VW confirmed a production run for the vehicle in Chattanooga in mid-2014.
Retooling the plant to produce the Atlas cost the automaker US$ 900 million, as it had to expand the facility by more than 665,000 square feet, a 26-percent increase in floor space.
VW has also brought on 400 new workers, and will add more as production of the Atlas ramps up. Originally, VW estimated the new vehicle would bring in at least 2,000 jobs.
“I am very proud of the hard work the Chattanooga team has put in to bring the Atlas to series production,” said Christian Koch, President and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga.
The Atlas was unveiled on the Santa Monica Pier in October of 2016. The seven-passenger Atlas offers class-competitive levels of technology and room, combined with Volkswagen driving dynamics and attention to detail.
The Atlas is built alongside the Passat at the VW Chattanooga assembly plant.