German automaker Volkswagen is expected to decide by the end of 2013 whether it will expand the Chattanooga plant to add the new three-row crossover.
Currently, Volkswagen has not taken a decision whether it will add the new three-row crossover at the Chattanooga assembly plant or the Puebla facility in Mexico. The crossover, which will be larger than the actual Touareg SUV, will create a new segment for the German automaker. The model will have a different architecture and design, which will offer the vehicle the possibility to sit seven passengers.
“No decision has been made yet,” said Frank Fischer, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, speaking to an industry conference here Monday morning. “My team is working hard to get this as a second vehicle.”
If the crossover will be manufactured at the Chattanooga plant, the facility will have to build the German automaker’s new flexible global vehicle platform, known as the MQB chassis. Fischer added that the next-generation Passat will also be moved to the MQB chassis.
Back in March, VW officials said that the automaker plans to manufacture a SUV and that the Chattanooga plant has plenty of room for a new assembly line. The German automaker plans to sell 800,000 vehicles per year in the US by 2018, which would be twice the vehicles sold in the region in 2012.