You saw it live on WDEF News 12 during the 8:00am hour this morning, Volkswagen made the announcement from Germany that it would be building its new SUV here in Chattanooga. WDEF News 12 reported it first on Friday
First seen at the 2013 North American International Auto Show as a concept vehicle, the CrossBlue SUV will roll off the production line in Chattanooga by the end of 2016. 2,000 additional jobs will be created to build the 7 passenger, 3 row vehicle. Martin Winterkorn, Board Chair for Volkswagen, says "this vehicle ladies and gentlemen will be a true American car. Big, attractive, and with lots of hi-tech on board. But above all, this midsized SUV will be built by real Americans."
Volkswagen will invest $900-million to develop the SUV, $600-million directly in Tennessee. The move represents Volkswagen's second phase in an effort to sell 800,000 vehicles in America by 2018. Michael Horn, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, says "this vehicle will add to the SUV line-up, bringing new customers to the brand that are looking for something larger than a Tiguan and something with more seating capacity than a Toureg. And built on the MQB platform, the midsize SUV will bring top safety, quality, driving dynamics and technology."
Volkswagen's first Chattanooga built car, the Passat, won Motor Trend magazine's 2012 Car of the Year award. The vehicle was also a "Car of the Year" finalist at the 2012 North American International Auto Show. VW cited the quality of the work done in Chattanooga as reasons why the new SUV will be built here. U.S. Senator Bob Corker of TN says "I want to thank the wonderful workers at Volkswagen, whose committment to excellence is the reason the leadership here at Volkswagen decided to make this vast commitment in Chattanooga."
A clean diesel TDI version of the CrossBlue will be available.
Volkswagen will also establish a National Research & Development and Planning Center in Chattanooga, creating 200 R&D jobs.