Volkswagen of America said it has started salable local production of the brand's ID4 battery-electric compact crossover at its assembly complex in Chattanooga, and it expects to produce up to 7,000 vehicles per month there by the fourth quarter.
The German automaker, which has been doing pilot builds of the ID4 at the plant for much of this year, said Tuesday it would begin making customer deliveries "as early as October" while it ramps up further.
The local production, paid for by an $800 million investment in the plant, represents a threefold or fourfold increase in ID4 availability for VW dealers in the U.S., compared with current versions, which are imported from Germany, VW executives have said.
Through the second quarter of this year, VW sold 4,415 ID4s in the U.S. — all imported — down 29 percent compared with the period of March-June 2021. The ID4 went on sale in March 2021.
"We're just starting to write a new chapter for Volkswagen in America, and it is very much an American story," Thomas Schäfer, global chairman of the VW brand, said in a written statement.
"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."