VW prepares US plant in Tennessee for e-mobility

Author: Duran Sarikaya
Date: 16.01.2019

Around 700 million euros will be invested

Volkswagen is investing around 700 million euros in the construction of the new US plant in Chattanooga. From 2022, the ID Crozz model, the first all-electric city SUV based on the VW electrical construction kit, shall be produced here.

“The decision to locate our US electric vehicle production facility in Chattanooga is a key component of Volkswagen’s growth strategy in North America” said Herbert Diess, Group CEO. “We are fighting for market share in the USA.”

For a long time, it was unclear if Volkswagen was actually intending to use the plant for the construction of electric vehicles. So far, the plant in the US state of Tennessee has been operating at rather low capacity. In addition to the ID Crozz, the E-Bulli ID Buzz will also roll off the production line in the plant.

Focus on e-mobility

A total of eight plants in Europe, North America and China will be equipped with the VW electrical construction kit in the coming years. The expansion of the plant in Chattanooga alone will create over 1000 new jobs. In addition, the European car manufacturer is currently under pressure from Donald Trump, who is threatening the group with special duties.

To expand electric mobility, VW plans to invest more than 44 billion euros in digitization over the next five years. The production of electric cars is scheduled to start at the end of this year. The first fully electric model will then be produced in Zwickau.

E-vehicles will also be produced in Hanover and Emden in the future. The initial goal is to bring 50 new all-electric models onto the market. At the locations in Hanover and Emden, however, this also means job cuts.

Jobs endangered

All in all, around 800,000 jobs in the entire automotive industry are expected to be in danger as a result of the transition to electro mobility. Stefan Bratzel, industry expert, assumes that the proportion of employees will fall by a good 15 percent by 2030. After all, the declining number of combustion engines will also reduce the volume of work. Bratzel regards this point as critical, as it will be difficult for well-paid employees to find an equivalent job.

In the long term, a total of 114,000 jobs will be lost due to e-mobility, according to a study by the Institute for Employment Research. In addition, the study predicts a market share of 23 percent for e-cars in 2035.