Volkswagen AG will invest $800 million to expand its Chattanooga, Tenn., assembly plant to establish it as the base to manufacture battery-electric vehicles for the North American market starting in 2022, according to the automaker.
The investment will expand the plant's footprint and create 1,000 additional jobs at the facility.
As a result, the plant will become ground zero for the production of Volkswagen's modular electric toolkit chassis (MEB). Volkswagen will also begin MEB production at its first dedicated EV production facility in Zwickau, Germany, by the end of 2019. The company plans to add EV production to Anting and Foshan, in China, in 2020 and Emden and Hanover, in Germany, by 2022.
"The US 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 Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG.
The first EV based on the platform that will arrive for sale in the U.S. will come in 2020 with a production version of the ID Crozz SUV concept vehicle that was first shown at the 2018 Detroit auto show.
Volkswagen now builds its Atlas midsize SUV and Passat midsize sedan at its Chattanooga plant, which opened in 2011. Next year, Volkswagen will add a five-seat Atlas known as the Atlas Cross Sport to the plant.
Globally, Volkswagen is investing almost $50 billion through 2023 toward the development and production of EVs and digital services. Volkswagen hopes to sell 150,000 EVs by 2020 and 1 million by 2025.