Chattanooga, Tenn. (14 December 2016) — Volkswagen Chattanooga today marked the beginning of series production of the Volkswagen Atlas. This marks the beginning of the process of building inventory for market introduction of the Atlas in 2017.
“I am very proud of the hard work the Chattanooga team has put in to bring the Atlas to series production,” said Christian Koch, President and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “The challenge of integrating a new vehicle line while simultaneously completing a major expansion of our facility was daunting, but our team stepped up to the task and now we have taken another step towards the market introduction of the Atlas,” he said.
The Volkswagen Atlas, unveiled on the Santa Monica Pier in October of 2016, launches a new chapter in the company’s American history. The seven-passenger Atlas offers class-competitive levels of technology and room, combined with Volkswagen driving dynamics and attention to detail.
“The Atlas marks a brand new journey for Volkswagen as we enter deeper into the heart of the American market, moving from a small-car brand towards a more family-friendly lineup,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North America Region, Volkswagen. “We are so proud that this vehicle was not only designed for the American market, but we built it in our factory right here in Tennessee.”
In conjunction with the facilities expansion, Volkswagen Chattanooga continues to grow its workforce to meet the production demands of adding the Atlas to the existing Passat line. Volkswagen Chattanooga currently employs 2800 team members—up from 2400 this summer– and will continue to bring on board additional employees throughout the ramp up of the Volkswagen Atlas.
The Atlas is built alongside the Passat at the Volkswagen Chattanooga assembly plant, the result of an additional $900 million investment by Volkswagen in the facility. The expansion added over 665,000 ft2 to the facility (a 26% total increase in production space), growing each shop to accommodate the integration of the Atlas.