It was only last week that Volkswagen of America CEO Scott Koegh said an electric pickup would be the “chance of a lifetime” for VW, and now a new report claims the automaker is considering building one at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Citing a source close to the matter, Reuters reported on Thursday that VW is considering expanding its Chattanooga plant to make way for production of an electric pickup, as well as the recently revealed ID.Buzz van.
The ID.Buzz starts sales in Europe later this year. However, it won't reach the U.S. until 2023, as we'll get a long-wheelbase body still being developed as standard. The ID.Buzz will initially be sourced from a plant in Germany, though we may see local production if sales support it.
First 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 validation build completed at Chattanooga factory
The Chattanooga plant is currently home to production of the Passat sedan and Atlas SUV, and will add production of the ID.4 electric crossover later this year (pre-production has already started). Production of the Passat will also be phased out this year.
The latest news comes a month after VW announced a $7.1 billion investment to expand its EV lineup in North America—a region the automaker sees as having the greatest potential for growth. VW wants to have more than 25 EVs on sale in North America by 2030, and have EVs account for 55% of its total sales in the region by that date.
VW has confirmed plans to expand its plants in Puebla and Silao, Mexico, to build EVs by mid-decade. However, to meet its EV goals in the region, VW is likely to add a new plant in North America. Germany's Manager Magazin reported Thursday that VW is planning to build a second plant in the U.S., possibly at the Chattanooga site, to increase capacity in the country by about 600,000 vehicles. A battery plant is also possible, per the report.