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Volkswagen to invest $340m in Tennessee factory to build new Atlas variant

ABR Staff Writer Published 20 March 2018

Volkswagen of America said that it will build a new five-passenger Atlas SUV at its Chattanooga plant in Tennessee.

Based off Volkswagen’s MQB platform, a concept version of the five-passenger SUV will be unveiled at the 2018 New York International Auto Show.

Similar to the seven-passenger Atlas, the five-passenger Atlas is being designed and built for the American market.

Volkswagen Group of America president and CEO Hinrich Woebcken said: “The Atlas has built strong momentum for Volkswagen in the SUV segment, and we are excited to grow our SUV portfolio with this new, Chattanooga-assembled five-passenger SUV.

“We are not only committed to this market, we are committed to our US manufacturing home in Chattanooga, Tennessee.”

The automaker said that it will invest about $340m to manufacture the vehicle, in addition to the $900m that it has already invested in expanding the plant for the vehicle’s production. This vehicle is also being hailed as the third Volkswagen model to be assembled at the Chattanooga factory.

The new five-passenger variant will be built alongside the seven-passenger variant and the Passat sedan. Price of the vehicle was not disclosed by the company. 

The new variant could be either named Atlas Allsport or Atlas Cross Sport as both the names have been trademarked by the company.

Details about the engine and its performance were also not disclosed by the company. The seven-passenger version comes with two engine variants, a 2liter four-cylinder TSI turbocharged engine with 238PS and a 3.6liter VR6 engine with 280PS. Power from these two engines is transmitted through a eight speed automatic transmission system.

Recently, Volkswagen stated that it has invested €20bn in contract to manufacture lithium-ion batteries for its upcoming electric vehicles. The company is also planning to use 16 locations across the globe to produce EVs. The plan is to build 3 million electric vehicles annually by 2025 and market 80 new electric group models.

Image: Volkswagen to compete in the SUV market with five-seat variant of Atlas. Photo: Courtesy of Volkswagen of America, Inc.