Volkswagen’s chief said today that a planned new sport utility vehicle, for which the Chattanooga plant is seen as the front-runner to assemble, is among new vehicles the automaker is counting on to grow U.S. sales, according to Bloomberg.

“The Americas are a significant cornerstone of the 2018 strategy,” CEO Martin Winterkorn said in the statement from the company’s annual shareholders meeting in Hanover, Germany. “We want to and we must grow there substantially and profitably.”

VW plans to redouble efforts to boost flagging sales in the U.S. as well as grow in Brazil as Europe’s largest automaker chases Toyota’s global lead.

In the first four months of 2014, the German automaker’s sales rose 6 percent to more than 3.2 million vehicles, a record for the period, the company said. The growth has been backed chiefly by expansion in China, as its efforts to push into the U.S. market have stalled. The namesake brand’s sales fell 10 percent through April.

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