The Volkswagen ID. Buzz isn’t heading to the United States until 2024 but it seems that its arrival could be much more than just assembled examples shipped from Europe. According to a new report, the Wolfsburg-based automaker is currently considering an expansion of its plant in Chattanooga to produce the electric microbus, as well as an all-electric pickup truck.
“A source close to the matter” recently told Reuters that Volkswagen plans to invest $7.1 billion in its North American operations over the next five years. The German company sees huge growth potential in the region, which was unprofitable for several years until 2021. As part of its strategy, VW wants to have 25 new electric vehicles in North America by the end of the decade and have a 50-percent sales share coming from EVs.
Gallery: 2022 ID. Buzz
The Chattanooga plant is the company’s only US factory for now and it currently produces the Atlas and other models. In March this year, Volkswagen began pilot production of the ID.4 in preparations for a fully-fledged production starting this fall. The electric crossover could reportedly be joined by the ID. Buzz on the assembly lines as the two share the same MEB electric vehicle architecture. A VW executive said last month the electric microbus will initially be imported from Germany but hinted at a possible production in the US or Mexico later during the model’s life cycle.
Then, last week, Germany’s Manager Magazine reported that Volkswagen is considering building a second plant in the United States, increasing its production output to up to 600,000 vehicles per year. The business magazine said the new plant could be located close to the existing Chattanooga plant. Also, it claimed VW is also considering a new battery plant in the country.
As far as the ID. Buzz is concerned, the automaker is currently developing a long-wheelbase variant, which will be launched in Europe next year. About a year later, the electric microbus will finally arrive in the United States.