Volkswagen is to use an American production site for its future range of EVs.
The announcement – made yesterday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit – will see it spend some £623m as part of ambitious plans to sell more than one million EVs each year by 2025, with the German manufacturer using an existing factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to build some of its next generation of electric cars.
It could also help to ease tensions with US president Donald Trump, who has caused controversy with business leaders in Europe over trade tariffs.
According to Reuters, VW chief executive Herbert Diess said: “We hope that with the investment in Chattanooga we could make a contribution, step forward, to avoid tariffs between Europe and the US, and we will work further on it.”
Trump tweeted his support for it, saying: “Volkswagen will be spending 800 million dollars in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They will be making Electric Cars. Congratulations to Chattanooga and Tennessee on a job well done. A big win!”
The plant is set to create 1,000 jobs by 2022 when the first EV rolls off the production line.
Eight global factories will subsequently produce these new electric models, with further plants expected to be built in North America, as well as in Europe and China.
The Chattanooga factory will become the home of the ID. Crozz SUV – Volkswagen’s first pure-electric SUV to be launched as part of its ‘ID.’ range. The plant has been open since 2011 and builds the Atlas SUV – which isn’t offered in the UK – and the US-specific Passat, both of which will continue to be made there.
The plant is also likely to produce other electric Volkswagens – possibly the ID. Buzz, which is a modern reinvention of VW’s iconic bus and campervan. The US is set to be one of the largest markets for this electric van.
The I.D. Crozz has already been previewed as a concept – first seen at last year’s Shanghai Motor Show. It will be the second model launched as part of Volkswagen’s ID. line-up – all of which are electric. An all-new Golf-sized EV expected by the end of 2019 will be the first ID. vehicle from the firm.
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