VW’s Newest Diesel CrossBlue Concept Moves to Production in Tennessee
On Monday, July 14, VW announced that it’s Chattanooga, TN plant will be the production home of a new VW hybrid diesel 7-seat SUV, based on the CrossBlue platform. Currently the Chattanooga Operations facility produces the Passat.
The new SUV should hit dealership lots in 2017. The vehicle is part of VW’s “Strategy 2018 Plan”, and will see them invest at least $600 million and 2,000 new jobs into Chattanooga Operations. According to Volkswagen:
…the new SUV will be integrated into existing plant structures. Existing areas in production will be used for the assembly of the midsize SUV. A total floor space of 50,000 m² (approx. 538,000 sq ft) will be added to the existing production facility….
Needless to say, VW’s top brass was on hand for quotes:
…The United States of America is and will remain one of the most important markets for Volkswagen. Over the past few years, we have achieved a lot there. We are now launching the second phase of the Volkswagen campaign in the US. With the midsize SUV, the expansion of the Chattanooga plant and the new development center, the focusis on the wishes of the US customer. This is also a strong signal for the US as an industrial and automobile production location. The Volkswagen brand is going on the attack again in America,” said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, in Wolfsburg….
As well as the politicos:
…Today is an exciting day not just for Chattanooga and Hamilton County but for all of Tennessee, and I want to thank Volkswagen for its significant long-term investment in our state,” Governor Bill Haslam said. “The impact of this announcement goes far beyond the 2,000 new jobs because of the large multiplier effect of the automotive industry, and adding an additional manufacturing line and the National Research & Development and Planning Center sends a clear signal that Tennessee can compete with anyone in the global marketplace…
As far as the vehicle goes, Autoblog.com looked at the VW CrossBlue back in January 2013. Here are some of their thoughts:
…Designers and engineers penned the machine specifically for the Canadian and US markets, and with a plug-in diesel electric hybrid drivetrain, the hulking five-door, at least in concept form, should offer substantially better efficiency than anything else on the market. The drivetrain pairs a 2.0-liter turbo diesel four-cylinder engine with two electric motors for a combined output of 305 horsepower and a ludicrous 516 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed dual-clutch gearbox handles shifting detail, while one electric motor spins the front wheels. The second motor spins the back axle independently, make the CrossBlue a through-the-road hybrid….
Hmmm…. 305 bhp with two electric motors? I’m thinking it will be kind of like the Chicago Bears’ Brandon Marshall. Big AND Quick.
Anyway, here some local coverage of the VW CrossBlue event, to complement video of the vehicle above.
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