Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

vw electric car future id buzz concept offset
VW I.D. Buzz Concept

Volkswagen is making a huge investment in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory to bolster its electrification offensive. The Wolfsburg, Germany-based firm will expand the site over the coming years to build electric vehicles, it announced on the sidelines of the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The expansion will cost $800 million, and it will directly create 1,000 jobs.

As of 2019, the Chattanooga factory builds vehicles developed in America, for America, like the Passat — which is getting a thorough redesign for the 2020 model year — and the seven-seater Atlas. The expansion will enable the plant to produce battery-powered vehicles built on the modular MEB platform that will underpin over a dozen models around the world. It’s too early to tell which models or how many cars will be added to Chattanooga’s roster because Volkswagen is still at the planning stages of the expansion.

“For us, it makes obvious sense to choose Chattanooga,” Scott Keogh, the head of Volkswagen’s American arm, told Digital Trends during a roundtable discussion. He added electric car production will start in 2023. Most of the cars will be sold in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, but Volkswagen is open to the idea of exporting some of the production run overseas. The final decision depends on the models built in Chattanooga, and the demand for them from abroad.

Volkswagen will launch its electric car offensive in America before it finishes expanding the Chattanooga factory. That means it will import the first next-generation electric vehicles it sells in the United States from a factory in Germany. Officials have previously hinted the U.S. market wouldn’t get the production version of the I.D. hatchback concept revealed in 2016, though Keogh didn’t rule it out. Other upcoming electric cars include a crossover previewed by the I.D. Crozz concept and a modern interpretation of the emblematic, rear-engined Bus inspired by the I.D. Buzz concept (pictured).

Electric cars aren’t the only new products Volkswagen will build in Chattanooga. The firm will also add the five-seater version of the Atlas it previewed with the Cross Sport concept at the 2018 New York Auto Show. Keogh told Digital Trends the model is scheduled to begin arriving in showrooms in early 2020, meaning it will likely break cover before the end of 2019. His team is also preparing an additional crossover positioned below the Tiguan for a 2021 launch, though we don’t know where it will be built yet.

Cars

Psychedelic Volkswagen Microbus from Woodstock returns for an encore

With its trippy paint scheme, the Volkswagen "Light" bus became a symbol of the 1969 Woodstock music festival. VW teamed up with the artist who created this rolling mural to stage a comeback in time for Woodstock's 50th anniversary.
Cars

The Polestar 2, Sweden’s answer to the Tesla Model 3, begins taking shape

Volvo sister company Polestar has released a teaser image to give us our first look at the 2, its second model. Polestar tells us the 2 will arrive as a four-door fastback with a 400-hp electric powertrain and about 300 miles of range.
Cars

Audi’s Geneva-bound Q4 E-Tron concept will give us a glimpse of the future

Audi has released a trio of teaser sketches to preview the Q4 E-Tron concept. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show, the design study takes the form of an electric SUV with a muscular design and a tech-filled interior.
Cars

Honda’s Urban EV is shaping up to be a high-tech, high-style electric city car

Honda will travel to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to unveil a close-to-production prototype that previews an adorable, city-friendly electric car. The Urban EV will offer about 155 miles of range, and its interior is a tech lover's dream come…
Cars

The hottest of all Mini hatches is coming with a Batman-approved design

The Mini John Cooper Works GP concept first seen at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show will go into production in 2020, Mini has confirmed. The John Cooper Works GP is the ultimate performance version of the Mini Cooper.
Cars

Report: Amazon and General Motors may invest in electric pickup company Rivian

General Motors and Amazon may invest between $1 billion to $2 billion for minority stakes in U.S. startup Rivian, an all-electric truck company, Reuters reports. Rivian introduced the R1T pickup at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto show.
Cars

Ford F-150 recall: Fault could cause vehicle to downshift into first gear

Ford is recalling 1.48 million F-150 vehicles over a potential fault that could cause it to suddenly downshift into first gear. The automaker said it's currently aware of five accidents related to the issue.
Cars

Volkswagen’s hot-rodded T-Roc R is ready to shred its tires to confetti

Volkswagen released a teaser sketch to preview a hot-rodded SUV named T-Roc R. Insiders suggest it will be closely related to the mighty Golf R, meaning it will pack a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at about 300…
Cars

Tesla’s Dog Mode lets good Samaritans know that Fido’s A-OK

Tesla's latest over-the-air software update adds two features called Sentry Mode and Dog Mode. Sentry Mode records footage and alerts the owner if someone breaks in, while Dog Mode runs the A/C so owners can safely keep their dogs in their…
Cars

Rock out in the carpool lane with Singing Machine’s Carpool Karaoke microphone

Carpool Karaoke fans can count down the days till summer. That's when Singing Machine's Carpool Karaoke microphone will be available. Connect the Carpool Karaoke Mic to your car radio to make your next road trip a mobile karaoke party.
Cars

Bentley Bentayga Speed surpasses Lamborghini Urus as world’s fastest SUV

The Bentley Bentayga Speed has wrested the title of world's fastest SUV from its cousin, the Lamborghini Urus. But the Bentley is just 1 mph faster than the Lamborghini. It requires 626 horsepower to achieve that top speed.
Emerging Tech

With CabinSense, cars will soon know who’s riding in them and respond accordingly

What if your car could know who's riding in it and customize the entertainment and safety options accordingly? That’s what's promised by the new CabinSense in-car Occupancy Monitoring System.
Outdoors

General Motors cycles into a new market with its first-ever ebikes

When General Motors launched a public campaign last year to name its new ebike brand, many wondered if Bikey McBikeface might win out. But it didn't. Instead, it's called Arīv, and the two bikes are up for pre-order this week.
Product Review

The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country is a do-it-all Swedish army knife

Volvo laced up its smallest station wagon in hiking clothes to create the V60 Cross Country. It's a lifted, all-wheel drive wagon that laughs at icy roads while coddling its occupants. We travel to Sweden to try it out.