German automaker Volkswagen has announced the start of production of its all-electric ID.4 SUV at its manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This start of production solidifies the ID.4 as the first Volkswagen EV to built and sold in the United States.
Volkswagen’s ID.4 began production in late 2020 as the first all-electric crossover SUV donning the VW badge. Originally promoted as an EV “for the millions, not the millionaires,” this mass market vehicle has found a home with a number of consumers throughout Europe, North America, and China.
For current North American customers however, the ID.4 has remained an import as Volkswagen has not previously manufactured any EVs on US soil, despite a massive manufacturing facility in Tennessee and plans for a second US facility in addition to a new battery cell plant.
Although Volkswagen Group has seen a recent shake up of executives in its North American and global offices, it is pushing onward in the United States, kicking off the start of production of the ever-popular ID.4.
Volkswagen ID.4 production begins with 7,000 EVs per month
According to a press release from Volkswagen Group, ID.4 production is officially underway in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The move is the result of VW’s $800 million investment into the Chattanooga facility to support dedicated spaces for electrification and battery pack production.
Chattanooga now joins Volkswagen’s five other sites around the globe currently manufacturing EVs. According to the automaker, the ID.4 remains its best seller in BEVs to date, with 190,000 delivered around the world to date.
As production begins here in the states, Volkswagen plans to reach an output of about 7,000 ID.4s per month later this year, then the company will continue to ramp up through 2023. Thomas Schäfer, Chairman of the global Volkswagen brand spoke:
We’re just starting to write a new chapter for Volkswagen in America, and it is very much an American story. When we promised to bring Volkswagen EVs to the millions, it always included American workers building those EVs right there in Chattanooga. We couldn’t be prouder to see that vision realized today with our ID.4 electric flagship rolling off the lines. This is another milestone in Volkswagen’s ambitious electrification strategy for the U.S. market and globally.
Components in the new ID.4s assembled by Volkswagen will be mainly sourced in North America, more specifically, the United States. This includes steel from Alabama and Ohio, interior parts from Indiana and South Carolina, and electronics from Kentucky and North Carolina. The EV batteries will come from SK Innovation in Georgia.
Volkswagen shared that it currently employs more than 4,000 people in Chattanooga and is in the process of hiring over 1,000 new production members this year to help meet high customer demand for the ID.4.
North American customers can expect to see deliveries of US-built ID.4s as early as this October, beginning with the RWD or AWD versions of the EV equipped with the 82 kWh battery pack. RWD versions of the ID.4 with the smaller 62 kWh battery will commence US production later this year.
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Author: Scooter Doll