Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant is celebrating the 1 millionth vehicle to roll off its assembly line – Aurora Red Metallic 2020 Volkswagen Passat R-Line. The milestone was reached later than initially anticipated due to production shutdowns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s gratifying to me that our team is back to work and able to mark yet another key milestone since the opening of VW’s Chattanooga plant,” said Tom du Plessis, president and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “Part of us getting back to normal is taking time to recognize these important achievements which are only possible because of the hard work and commitment of our exceptional team here in Chattanooga.”
Volkswagen’s plant employs approximately 3,800 people.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG
Before the Chattanooga plant opened, Volkswagen hadn’t made a vehicle in the U.S. in 22 years following the closing of the Westmoreland facility in Pennsylvania.
The Passat got its start as a vehicle designed specifically for the North American market.
Ground was broken on the Tennessee plant in 2009 and in 2011 it began producing Passats. It currently employees approximately 3,800 people. In the last nine years, the plant has produced more than 700,000 Passats and 100,000 Atlas SUVs. The new 2020 Atlas Cross Sport and the refreshed 2021 Atlas recently began production.
The Chattanooga facility doesn’t just produce vehicles for domestic sale. Chattanooga-assembled vehicles have been exported to Canada, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, and the Middle East.
Volkswagen has announced that the plant will be the company’s North American base for manufacturing electric vehicles including the ID.4, representing an approximately $800 million investment, starting in 2022. The expansion to enable U.S. production of long-range EVs began in November 2019.
The Chattanooga plant produces a number of vehicles.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG
Volkswagen isn’t just committed to the cars it produces in Chattanooga. The company has invested in its community too. Late last year, Volkswagen donated $1.25 million to The Conservation Fund to purchase land near the plant so it could be donated to the U.S. Forest Service.