Editors note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that VW’s commitments included upgrades to Audi’s Mexican assembly plant.
Volkswagen Group of America plans to spend at least $7.1 billion in North America through 2027 to build up its local electric vehicle production capacity — including construction of a battery plant as well as overhauls of its assembly plant in Puebla and an engine plant in Silao, Mexico — and bolster interim ICE-powered production as part of a push to regionalize its product decisions for the continent.
The company aims to introduce more than 25 new battery-electric vehicles through 2030 across the group's brands that sell in the U.S.: VW, Audi, Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini. But more importantly, it also plans to localize "all major design and engineering responsibilities" for top-hat development of EVs for North American consumers by 2030 — a move that could, in theory, allow VW to produce an electric midsize pickup for U.S. consumers, as well as other products.
“The Volkswagen Group has taken a leadership position in the American EV market. To continue that conquest, we’re investing over $20 million through June of this year into our dealers nationwide, transforming them into EV experience hubs serving communities across the country,” Volkswagen Group of America CEO Scott Keogh said. “The reason is simple: We are transforming Volkswagen into an EV brand and I could not be more personally committed to this course.”
Keogh aims to push products that would allow the VW brand to capture 55 percent of its annual sales as EVs by 2030. Much of its future EV product lineup is already known: the ID4 compact crossover, which will begin local production at VW's Chattanooga Assembly complex in the second half of 2022; the ID Buzz minivan, which will be imported from Europe beginning in 2024; a long-range sedan, called the ID Aero, in 2025, and electric versions of the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport beginning in 2026.
VW will begin phasing out sales of internal combustion engine-powered vehicles in North America after the turn of the decade, Keogh said.