Volkswagen Starts Construction Of $800M Tennessee Factory Expansion For EV Production

Volkswagen of America will add some 1,000 jobs at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee as it leans into electric propulsion.

Volkswagen today broke ground on an $800-million expansion at its Chattanooga, Tennessee assembly plant as the German automaker prepares to turn the facility into its North American hub for EV production. The plant isn’t scheduled to start rolling out examples of Volkswagen’s ID. CROZZ electric crossover until 2022, but by the time it does, about 1,000 new jobs will have been added at the facility.

Some of the hiring to fill those spots will start as soon as early-2020, continuing as production gradually ramps up.

Volkswagen’s $800-million Chattanooga plant overhaul will encompass a 564,000-square-foot body shop expansion and a 198,000–square-foot plant for EV battery pack assembly. However, the plant will not switch entirely over to EV production; according to Volkswagen of America, its Chattanooga facility will continue to build internal combustion engine cars, too, producing both on the same line.

The plant currently produces the Volkswagen Passat sedan and Atlas crossover utility vehicle.

Volkswagen of America President and CEO Scott Keogh called the Chattanooga groundbreaking a “big, big moment for this company,” and it’s easy to see why. Volkswagen is betting big on battery electric vehicles, with the production of its first long-range EV – the ID.3 – starting earlier this month in Zwickau, Germany. Over the coming years, the German brand will add the ID. CROZZ electric crossover, ID. VIZZION sedan, ID. ROOMZZ SUV, ID. BUZZ microbus, and ID. BUGGY dune buggy to its repertoire.

“Expanding local production sets the foundation for our sustainable growth in the U.S.,” Keogh says. “Electric vehicles are the future of mobility and Volkswagen will build them for millions, not just millionaires.”

In addition to Chattanooga, Volkswagen plans to start EV production in the Chinese cities of Anting and Foshan in 2020, and in the German cities of Emden and Hanover by 2022.