Volkswagen Atlas Ditches Two Seats for New Variant

New 5-passenger Volkswagen SUV to be made in Chattanooga

Based off Volkswagen's award-winning MQB platform, the new Volkswagen SUV will be a variant of the seven-passenger Atlas and, like its sibling, will be designed and engineered for the American market.

Amid much fanfare Monday afternoon, Volkswagen officials announced the next-generation vehicle to be built in Chattanooga.

A concept version of the five-passenger SUV will be officially unveiled at the 2018 New York International Auto Show. The new, smaller variant to the Atlas will be the third Volkswagen model assembled at the Chattanooga factory.

We'll have the official details live from NY next week.

Volkswagen invested $900 million to expand the plant to produce the Atlas, a three-row SUV that went on sale in 2017.




VW spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan said in an email that the move "is not a reaction to the proposed tariffs".

The plans come amid debate over US -foreign trade relationships as President Trump threatens tariffs on imported European vehicles and continues NAFTA negotiations.

A concept of the two-row iteration will debut at the New York Auto Show next week, while the production-ready version looks to be slated for a 2019 model year debut later this year. Additionally, the automaker confirms that this new SUV will be built in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as part of a $340 million investment into its local manufacturing facility.

VW's plans to locate another model at the Chattanooga plant, its only USA factory, have been in the works for several years, said Kristin Dziczek, director of the industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research. In addition to the two SUV variants, the plant builds the US -market Passat midsize sedan, employing 2,800 people as of December 2016.

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