This story was updated Friday, August 28, 2020, at 10 p.m. with more information.
Volkswagen plans next month to publicly reveal its first electric SUV, which is now undergoing production in Germany but slated for assembly in Chattanooga by 2022.
The German automaker also will unveil an online platform that will permit buyers to reserve the battery-powered SUV, called the ID.4, for $100, according to the company.
Over the past few months, Volkswagen of America has worked with dealers on the new buying experience so customers can shop from home, the company said.
The reservation platform will make its debut on Sept. 23 following the reveal of the all-new ID.4 at 11 a.m. EDT on VW.com.
Customers will be able to reserve an ID.4 before it hits dealer showrooms later this year.
"Our online reservations portal will give those who are ready to make the switch to an EV SUV a place at the front of the line," said Duncan Movassaghi, executive vice president, sales and marketing for Volkswagen. "We're excited to share the future of Volkswagen with the ID.4. It's a compelling, zero direct emissions alternative to the compact SUVs on the market today."
In Chattanooga, the company is building an $800 million expansion to its assembly plant to ready it for electric vehicle production.
Initial employee hiring for EV assembly will start later this year with the building of pre-production vehicles to begin in 2021, said Tom du Plessis, VW Chattanooga's chief executive, earlier this summer. Assembly of the SUV at the plant will launch in 2022 as scheduled, he said.
The online platform lets Volkswagen buyers reserve an ID.4 in a few steps, according to VW. The platform also includes shopping tools such as a range estimator, payment tool and dealer selection to assist shoppers with finding an ID.4 model and making the transition to EV ownership, the company said.
Once a user has built their vehicle, they can secure their place in line with a fully refundable $100 reservation payment, according to the company. As vehicle production starts, reservation holders will be invited to lock in their configuration and confirm their order with an additional $400 deposit. From placing a reservation, to production and through delivery, the customer can see where they stand and when they can expect their ID. 4 to arrive at their preferred local VW dealer, the company said. At that time, the customer can negotiate the sale price with their dealer and complete their purchase.
Volkswagen said it plans to offer the ID.4 electric vehicle across all 50 states and throughout its network of more than 600 dealers, and that it plans to sell 26 million electric vehicles globally by 2029.
The electric SUV will join the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport SUVs and the Passat sedan in production in Chattanooga.
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