We know that Volkswagen is preparing to launch a major offensive on the electric-mobility front. We also know that the manufacturer has some catching up to do in the American market in the wake of the diesel scandal that broke in December 2015. It is not surprising, then, to see a report come out that claims the company is planning to build two of its upcoming electric models in the USA, likely at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Autocar magazine learned that Volkswagen intends to assemble the I.D Buzz and I.D. Crozz concept models in the USA once they are production-ready (likely under different names). This is given added credibility by the fact that the German automaker expects the North American market to be the strongest sales region for the two models.
In an interview with Autocar, Volkswagen’s US boss, Hinrich Woebcken, mentioned that when it comes to cars, “For strong product momentum, they need to be produced in the USA. It's not possible to come into a high-volume scenario with imported cars. We want to localize electric mobility in the United States."
It’s expected that the Buzz and the Crozz will be Americanized during their progression from concept to production models. The same modifications were implemented on the Tiguan, the Passat in the early 2010s and most recently the Atlas. So we can expect smoother suspensions, for starters, on cars made in the USA for American consumers (although it should be specified that the Tiguan is assembled in Mexico).
Volkswagen is refusing to confirm any of this, but in reality the decision will be dictated by issues of volume and profitability. It’s just a pity that Canadian consumers, who have always appreciated the brand’s driving DNA, will be collateral damage if the future models do get Americanized…