Volkswagen Will Build New CrossBlue-Based SUV in Tennessee | Edmunds

Volkswagen Will Build New CrossBlue-Based SUV in Tennessee


Just the Facts:
  • Volkswagen will build a new seven-passenger, three-row SUV spun off the Volkswagen CrossBlue concept at its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant starting in late 2016.
  • The new SUV is for consumers "looking for something larger than a (Volkswagen) Tiguan," said Michael Horn, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America.
  • Horn said Volkswagen's U.S. dealers pushed for the new SUV.

WOLFSBURG, Germany Volkswagen will build a new seven-passenger, three-row SUV spun off the Volkswagen CrossBlue concept at its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant starting in late 2016, the automaker confirmed on Monday.

The new SUV is for consumers "looking for something larger than a (Volkswagen) Tiguan," said Michael Horn, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America.

Key competitors to the new VW SUV include the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Pilot, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Nissan Pathfinder.

"This vehicle will be a true American car — big, attractive with lots of high-tech on board," said Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen AG CEO. "It will be built by real Americans."

The midsize SUV was developed for the North American market. The CrossBlue made its global debut at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.

Horn said Volkswagen's U.S. dealers pushed for the new SUV.

"Now we can give them their car," Horn said in a press conference.

Volkswagen released few details about the new SUV and did not confirm the name.

"No name as of yet," wrote Mark Gillies, a Volkswagen of America spokesman, in response to a query from Edmunds. "And no tech specs or pricing information."

Official VW documents refer to the vehicle as a "midsize SUV." Horn said there will be a clean-diesel TDI version of the car.

Volkswagen is making a $900 million investment to expand the Chattanooga plant, a move that will bring 2,000 new jobs to the area. The automaker reaffirmed its commitment to selling 800,000 vehicles in the U.S. by 2018.

Volkswagen also will add 200 engineers to a new research-and-development center planned for Chattanooga.

"We're listening even closer to the wishes of American drivers," Winterkorn said.

Edmunds says: Car shoppers in the market for a midsize SUV shouldn't put aside their showroom visits at this point. But keep in mind that a major new product from Volkswagen is in the pipeline.

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