During a press conference held at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the German carmaker’s officials announced that a seven seat crossover will be built in the United States starting with the second half of 2016. At the special event, Volkswagen also announced a $900 million investment in the factory aimed at increasing production capacity and the introduction of a new model in production. Besides the crossover inspired by the CrossBlue concept, Volkswagen will also open a design and development center in the United States, where around 200 engineers will work on adjusting all of the carmaker’s products for the local market. All these investments are part of the company’s plan to double sales in the U.S. by 2018.
Right now, Volkswagen is building the American version of the Passat at the Chattanooga plant, and the second model to be built there, the crossover, will share the platform with the popular sedan. The decision to invest in the United States raised a couple of eyebrows, but considering that many carmaker decided to take their production to Mexico, Volkswagen got some serious benefits benefits from local authorities, especially since this new investment means around 2,000 new jobs.
The CrossBlue concept is officially positioned between the carmaker’s two existing SUV’s the Touareg and the Tiguan, despite the new model featuring atypical dimensions for this segment. The car is longer than the Touareg, but features a sportier silhouette. Also, once it hits U.S. showrooms, the seven seat crossover will allow the German carmaker to compete in this market segment where Honda, Ford and Toyota are already selling a lot of units.
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