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November 13, 2019 3:30 PM, EST

Volkswagen Breaks Ground on Chattanooga, Tenn., Electric Vehicle Facility

Breaking ground for Volkswagen facility in Tennessee Officials with the state of Tennessee, city of Chattanooga and Volkswagen at the groundbreaking event for the Volkswagen electric vehicle facility Nov. 13, 2019. (Erin O. Smith/Chattanooga Times Free Press via Associated Press)

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Marking construction of an electric vehicle facility in Chattanooga, Volkswagen of America today broke ground on an $800 million expansion that will add more than 700,000 square feet of new space to its plant.

The expansion includes a 564,000-square-foot addition to the body shop where Volkswagen will build both internal combustion engine vehicles as well as electric vehicles on the same assembly line.

Also, the company announced it intends to build a 198,000–square-foot plant for the assembly of battery packs for electric vehicles at the Chattanooga site.

The company plans to hire 1,000 employees to add to the 3,800 already working in Chattanooga. Electric vehicle production begins in 2022, and the facility will be Volkswagen’s North American assembly base for electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles are the future of mobility, and Volkswagen will build them for millions, not just millionaires.

Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America

Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America

Volkswagen Group of America executives joined Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Germany’s ambassador to the U.S., Emily Haber, plant leaders, production employees and community leaders for the groundbreaking.

“This is a big, big moment for this company,” said Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. “Expanding local production sets the foundation for our sustainable growth in the U.S. Electric vehicles are the future of mobility, and Volkswagen will build them for millions, not just millionaires.”

Tom du Plessis, who heads VW’s Chattanooga operations, said electric vehicle and electric-vehicle battery production require new and different technology skills.

“We’re working with our colleagues abroad, as well as with the Volkswagen Academy, to ensure our team members are well-prepared,” he said.

VW currently produces the Passat sedan and Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport SUVs in Chattanooga.

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