published Monday, June 16th, 2014

Chattanooga VW plant may handle two SUVs, report says

  • photo
    VW’s new midsize SUV concept, called the Crossblue, was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2013.
    Mike Pare

Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant may handle not just production of a midsize sport utility vehicle, but possibly a second SUV as well.

NBC News said that Michael Horn, Volkswagen Group of America’s chief, hinted that details about production of the midsize SUV should be announced shortly, and it’s expected to be handled by the Chattanooga plant. The plant would undergo a significant expansion to handle a midsize SUV and possibly other future models, such as a second SUV based on a stretched version of the current Tiguan, NBC reported.

The report also said VW appears to be scaling back plans to reach its goal of selling 800,000 vehicles a year in the U.S. by 2018.

“For now, we have to have realistic targets,” Horn said during an interview in San Francisco during VW’s launch of the all-new, seventh-generation Golf hatchback. Horn stressed that “the vision is right … long-term. But timing is the huge challenge.”

Horn said he’s not ready to issue a formal statement revising the 2018 plan. But with the target date fast approaching and VW only halfway to its sales goal, there seems little doubt the maker will have to issue a public revision, he confirmed.

VW sales are expected to reach only about half the 800,000 mark this year. Horn cited gaps in VW’s lineup, including SUVs.

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