In an effort to support more American workers and appeal to more American buyers, Volkswagen will be launching a new midsize SUV that will be assembled at the company’s Chattanooga, Tenn., plant starting in late 2016. Based on the CrossBlue concept vehicle that was revealed at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, the new model is expected to slot between the compact Volkswagen Tiguan and the more luxurious Volkswagen Touareg in the automaker’s SUV lineup.
Volkswagen says it will add roughly 2,000 U.S. jobs and invest about $900 million to support the manufacturing of its new seven-passenger SUV. Production of the vehicle will be integrated into the existing infrastructure of the Chattanooga facility, which is currently home to the VW Passat midsize sedan. Though Volkswagen has yet to confirm which of the CrossBlue’s features will actually make it to U.S. dealerships, buyers can expect a spacious interior, a range of high-tech features and an efficient drivetrain, with the concept housing a plug-in hybrid system that connects a TDI Clean Diesel engine with two electric motors.
“While it’s the compact-SUV segment that has exploded in recent years, the midsize SUV continues to be a favorite with Americans drivers, and Volkswagen is planning to win their hearts with a more affordable, more fuel-efficient and more technologically advanced model in 2016,” said Jared Saunders, general manager of AutoFair Volkswagen of Nashua, a New Hampshire Volkswagen dealer. “In the meantime, though, buyers who want a midsize SUV that offers nothing but the best in material quality and amenities can turn to the Volkswagen Touareg.”