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(vw pr)> Dieselgate M$ thrown @Chattanooga-TN vw-plant 2make EVs

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Volkswagen begins work on $800 million electric expansion in Chattanooga
20191114  MIKE PARE

CHATTANOOGA — Chattanooga was called the base for Volkswagen’s electric
vehicle operations in North America on Wednesday as work started on an $800
million plant expansion to make a battery-powered SUV.

“This is a really bold move,” said Tom du Plessis, Volkswagen Chattanooga’s
chief executive. “It’s a new exciting journey.”

On a site near where VW once stored hundreds of cars temporarily
decommissioned due to the diesel emission scandal, the automaker plans to
add more than 750,000 square feet to its Chattanooga facilities to produce
the more environmentally agreeable EVs.

The expansion includes a 564,000-square-foot addition to the body shop where
Volkswagen will build both internal combustion engine vehicles and EVs on
the same assembly line.

Also, the company plans to build a 198,000-square-foot facility adjacent to
its factory for the assembly of battery packs for battery-powered vehicles.

Emily Haber, Germany’s ambassador to the United States, said EVs are “a new
generation of vehicles that have the power to revolutionize the industry.”

She said VW’s investment comes at a critical time when businesses are facing
uncertainty due to tariffs and other issues.

“German carmakers believe in the U.S. market. They believe in Tennessee,”
she told several hundred people at the plant site.

Volkswagen is sourcing the batteries from SK Innovation, a South Korean
company that is building a $1.67 billion factory in Northeast Georgia. At
VW’s new facility, the automaker will put together the battery packs that
will be installed beneath the electric SUV.

When production of the all-electric SUV begins in early 2022, officials
said, the Chattanooga plant will have capacity to assemble more than 100,000
EVs annually.

The company plans to add 1,000 more employees to its 3,800-person workforce.
Hiring for the new assembly work will begin in early 2020 and continue as
needed for ramping up production, according to VW.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee pledged to help the state produce skilled workers
for such jobs and to attract more global companies such as Volkswagen.

“I come from a background of skilled tradespeople,” said the former
businessman, adding that he recognizes how valuable those employees can be
to companies. “One of the greatest things we can do is develop this

David Geanacopoulos, Volkswagen Group of America’s senior executive vice
president for public affairs and public policy, said about 1 million
vehicles have been assembled in Chattanooga since production began here in

He said the compact electric SUV, which will be about the size of the
existing Tiguan and dubbed the ID. Crozz, will join the Passat sedan and
Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport SUVs on the plant’s assembly lines. The ID.
Crozz will be made in Germany for a couple of years before production begins
in Chattanooga.

In addition, citing VW’s environment stewardship, Geanacopoulos said the
company is working with the Conservation Fund to expand the nearby Cherokee
National Forest by 1,500 acres.

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said Wednesday was another moment “when we see
products of the future coming to Chattanooga.”

“The impact of this vehicle will continue for generations,” he said.

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger added that an immediate impact to the
economy will come from the workforce that builds the expansion.

“It will take 17 months to do,” he said. “They’ll spend a lot of money in
our economy.”

Coppinger also said VW last year put $4 million in taxes into the public
schools and it has invested $1 million in so-called eLabs, which permit
students to gain access to technologies such as automated manufacturing, 3D
printers and robotics.

Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said in a
statement that Wednesday was “a big, big moment for this company. Expanding
local production sets the foundation for our sustainable growth in the U.S.
Electric vehicles are the future of mobility and Volkswagen will build them
for millions, not just millionaires.”

Local positions added for the expansion include supervisors, specialists and
a variety of engineers specializing in electrical, software, mechanical,
manufacturing, chemical and quality, according to VW.

“Electric vehicle and electric-vehicle battery production require new and
different technical skills than those we currently use,” du Plessis said.

Four years ago, the federal government said VW was in violation of the Clean
Air Act after it had used so-called defeat devices in its diesel vehicles to
cheat on pollution tests. VW agreed to buy back nearly 380,000 of the cars
in the U.S. in order to fix or scrap them and it stored them in locations
around the country, including at the Chattanooga plant site.
[© columbiadailyherald.com]

+ (lordstownmotors.com,Workhorse bought OH GM plant)
GM Lordstown plant sold (to lordstownmotors.com,Workhorse)
NOV 8, 2019 ... the plan is to start production of the Endurance, a
full-size commercial fleet pickup truck, in late 2020 ...

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