Volkswagen wants Americans to forget about the whole Dieselgate issue, and it hopes the 2018 Atlas will be perfect for that role. Production of the three-row SUV just started in the company’s Chattanooga plant.
While you can’t get a VW Atlas right now, the automaker is working hard to build a healthy stock. It anticipates you’ll really want one, because Americans can’t seem to get enough SUVs.
VW is in desperate need of a big upswing for the North American market. It does well in Europe and Asia, but the Germans can’t quite seem to figure out what people in the US like. The thing is Volkswagen took too long for this move, and it’s going up against some pretty stiff competition. Subaru is looking to launch a similar SUV in the near future, while other brands are well-established in the same segment.
In other words, VW will really need to sell Americans on what makes the Atlas so special that they have to get it.
To ramp up for the Atlas, VW increased the Chattanooga workforce from 2,400 to 2,800. It’s looking to increase that number even further. Also, the building was expanded by 665,000 square feet, which was a 26 percent bump. The Passat is also manufactured at the plant.