New 5-passenger Volkswagen SUV to be made in Chattanooga

New 5-passenger Volkswagen SUV to be made in Chattanooga

Volkswagen AG will announce on Monday that it plans to invest US$340 million to build a new sport utility vehicle at its Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant in the United States as demand surges for larger vehicles, according to a person briefed on the announcement.

A concept version of the five-passenger SUV will be officially unveiled at the 2018 New York International Auto Show. Don't expect anything wild; this concept will closely signal what the finalized version will look like, but will have some typical non-production window dressing.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said he has watched Volkswagen Chattanooga flourish from a single-vehicle producer, starting with the Passat midsize sedan, into what it is today - a thriving US manufacturing operation that can produce three models, and counting.

In the meantime, be sure to check back for all our coverage straight from the floor of the 2018 NY auto show, for which the media preview officially kicks off March 28. While the Atlas sits squarely in one of the most popular automotive segments in the USA, there's still a lot of white space between it and the much smaller Tiguan.

Whether or not it's the same size as a seven-passenger Atlas remains to be seen.

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As for the details we do know: The two-row Atlas will also be built in Chattanooga, Tenn., alongside three-row versions of the Atlas as well as the Passat sedan.

No jobs will be added to produce the additional vehicle, but it should improve job security at the factory, a spokeswoman said by email.

The Atlas went on sale in April 2017 and recorded 27,119 sales in the USA a year ago.

Volkswagen of America sales overall were up 5.7 percent the first two months of the year, largely due to SUVs, figures show.

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