Volkswagen Reportedly Close to Announcing Crossover Production Site
Chattanooga, Mexico Both Still in Running
Globally, Volkswagen is among the world's largest automakers, but its goal to become a high-volume, full-line brand in the U.S. has been hampered by the lack of a mainstream, three-row crossover entry. The CrossBlue concept clearly shows the styling and packaging direction VW is targeting for its new crossover, which is due in showrooms in 2016.
That relatively short production timeframe means the clock is ticking on selecting a site and preparing for production. Volkswagen's board of directors is reportedly meeting Monday, May 12, and one of the key items on the agenda is making a final decision on the production site for the three-row crossover, Automotive News reports. At first, it looked like Chattanooga was easily the favored site, but the VW-sanctioned UAW organization effort earlier this year soured the previously cordial and cooperative relationship the company had with state and local officials.
An incentive package as large as $300 million was retracted when it looked like the UAW might organize the plant. Now that the union has backed down from its challenge of the results, in which the factory workers narrowly defeated the unionization effort, the package may be back on the table, but the status of negotiations between VW and regional government officials is not clear. If Chattanooga is passed over, the next most likely production site for the crossover would be VW's massive Puebla, Mexico, facility, which produces the Golf, Jetta, and Beetle for the North American market.
Source: Automotive News