Volkswagen Produces First Units of VW ID.4 in Chattanooga Factory in the U.S.
Home > News > Industry20 Aug 2021, 18:33 UTC · by Gustavo Henrique RuffoCar manufacturing is hard, as famous and anonymous people like to remind us. Before a vehicle reaches mass production, it demands pre-production units. They help to validate the assembly process and to test all steps before consumers start receiving their cars. This is what Scott Keogh witnessed in his last visit to the Volkswagen Chattanooga plant when one of the first ID.4 rolled off the assembly line. 151 photos
Although it may seem that Volkswagen is ready to produce the electric crossover in its U.S. plant, it is not there yet. As the president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America clarified in his LinkedIn post about the visit, this is just a preparation. To quote him, it is a way “to validate the build process, components, and procedures in advance of full assembly which is scheduled to begin next year.”
Keogh visited the Chattanooga plant with Thomas Du Plessis, the president and CEO of the Volkswagen brand for the American market. According to the Volkswagen Group CEO, the pre-production ID.4 is more than just the confirmation about the production of the MEB platform in the U.S.: he sees it as a symbol of the $800 million investment Volkswagen made in Tennessee to manufacture electric cars there.
The ID.4 is just the first and probably not the more critical product Volkswagen has for the U.S. The ID.Buzz will also be produced in Chattanooga in 2022. It may not have the same sales volumes compared to the ID.4, but it may become Volkswagen’s most desirable EV on the American market soon after it will be introduced. The German manufacturer may export it from Chattanooga to other markets, with a higher profit margin than the ID.4 may offer.
Unlike the European ID.4, the one made in the U.S. will use SK Innovation cells. Strangely, the South Korean battery supplier was almost forbidden to sell batteries to Volkswagen due to a legal dispute with LGES (LG Energy Solution) involving patents. LGES is the company that supplies battery cells to the German carmaker in Europe.