Volkswagen builds first metal test body of new SUV

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – Volkswagen has built the first metal test body for the new midsize SUV that is scheduled to begin production at the German automaker’s lone U.S. plant in Tennessee later this year.

The company said in a release Wednesday that the test body will be used to check the calibration of body shop equipment and processes at the Chattanooga plant. It will then be passed on for more testing and development.

Volkswagen in 2014 announced it would spend $600 million at the Chattanooga plant to build the new seven-seat SUV aimed at reviving U.S. sales that were flagging even before the fallout from the company’s diesel emissions cheating scandal.

The Chattanooga plant, which began production in 2011, has made more than 500,000 Passat sedans.

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