UPDATE: VW to build new SUV in Scenic City, add 2,000 new jobs
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - UPDATE: Volkswagen will build the new mid-size CrossBlue SUV at their Chattanooga facility.
At a news conference Monday at the Volkswagen headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Sen. Bob Corker are in attendance in Germany for the announcement by VW CEO Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn.
Winterkorn said Monday "The United States of America is and will remain one of our most important markets – both for the Volkswagen brand and for the entire Group. This vehicle will be a real American – large, attractive and with many high-tech features on board. Above all, the midsize SUV will be made by real Americans. From 2016, this vehicle will roll off production line at the Chattanooga plant – as second core model in addition to the Passat."
The CrossBlue SUV is aimed squarely at the U.S. market, and expected to roll out of the VW Chattanooga plant in late 2016.
Additionally, 2,000 new jobs are expected by the expansion, which will require an investment of between $600 and $900 million dollars, according to the German automaker.
A new research and development center will be part of the expansion, further committing Volkswagen's investment in Chattanooga. Two-hundred engineers will be employed at the R&D center.
Chattanooga and Hamilton County will also benefit from the $600 million plant expansion.
The company will announce a growth phase that will commit more than $7 billion globally by 2018.
SEE MORE | VW CrossBlue SUV slideshow, VW CrossBlue Coupe slideshow
Speculation has grown for months that VW would add a second vehicle, an SUV, to the Chattanooga plant. The other VW plant in competition for the second line was Puebla, Mexico.
Tuesday marks six years since VW made its first announcement to build a $1 billion factory in Chattanooga.
Channel 3 Eyewitness News will have continuing coverage all day on air and here on WRCBtv.com
READ MORE | Volkswagen's time in Chattanooga