Volkswagen AG (VLKAY) selected its manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., as ground zero for the company's first electric vehicle facility in North America.
The German automaker confirmed in a news release coinciding with the kickoff of the Detroit Auto Show Monday that it will expand its plant in Chattanooga and create 1,000 jobs there as the factory gears up for electric vehicle production beginning in 2022.
Volkswagen currently employs 3,500 people in Tennessee, and at year-end will have invested $2.3 billion in the facility. The Chattanooga plant produces the midsize Atlas SUV and Passat sedan and will begin building the Atlas Cross Sport, a five-seat version of the model, this year.
"The U.S. is one of the most important locations for us, and producing electric cars in Chattanooga is a key part of our growth strategy in North America," said Volkswagen AG CEO Herbert Diess. "Together with our ongoing investments and this increase in local production, we are strengthening the foundation for sustainable growth of the Volkswagen brand in the U.S."
"The shift toward electric vehicles is a trend that can be seen worldwide, and Volkswagen's decision to locate its first North American EV manufacturing facility in Chattanooga underscores Tennessee's manufacturing strength and highly-skilled workforce," Gov. Bill Haslam said.
Volkswagen Group of America's CEO Scott Keogh will lead the Volkswagen electric vehicle management team, Diess said.