A new Volkswagen crossover may be joining the Passat at the German automaker's Chattanooga, Tennessee factory, a facility recently in the news lately due to grumblings over an increasing potential for UAW unionization. Marc Trahan, Executive Vice President of Quality for VW in the US, told assembled media at a press luncheon yesterday that, "Right now I'd have to say Chattanooga's in the lead." Such strong wording from an executive bodes well for the Tennessee plant, which was opened by VW in 2011 and currently employs around 2,200 people, having built its 250,000th car in May.

As for what will end up in Tennessee, some reports suggest the vehicle will be a subcompact, which suggests a production version of the Taigun Concept pictured above – a small crossover that debuted nearly a year ago at the São Paulo Motor Show. Other media outlets around Chattanooga are betting on the production version of the three-row CrossBlue Concept, the altogether larger CUV seen in our gallery below.

The organized labor issue is a potentially troubling one for VW, with the Chattanooga Times Free Press indicating that unionization could have a negative impact on whatever vehicle is being considered at the moment. If the Tennessee plant doesn't get the new vehicle, it's still likely to add a second model to its assembly line before too long, though. "We've made a significant investment in Chattanooga and it's one that we want to have its full potential realized," Trahan says of the facility. Whatever ends up being built alongside the Passat, we expect to see it in 2016 or 2017.

UPDATE: Autoblog has learned that VW has no plans to bring a production Taigun to Chattanooga – a reporter from another publication evidently misheard what was said at the press event. Thus, once again, the smart money on VW building a crossover in Tennessee goes to the three-row CrossBlue.


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  • 30 Comments
      Lucky Stars
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is an extremely good looking little cuv. It will sell I would not take any advice from these autoblog readers. I mean same guys saying the encore would not sell. Small cuvs are the wave of the future and it is too bad the ecosport is not being sold here as well. I have driven it and nice little car. What you have is basically very useful hatchbacks that have a little more ground clearance which is useful for negotiating potholes, dirt roads, curbs, and driveways. I drove a nissan juke at 30mph up a steep driveway from the street, if I took my mazda 2 at that speed would bottom out and cause damage. Bring this Vw and less Eos type vehicles
      churchmotor
      • 1 Year Ago
      They best wait to see if the Detroit Carpetbaggers come pillage the Town.
        BranMM
        • 1 Year Ago
        @churchmotor
        Yes, God save us from unions. We might have to tolerate better wages, benefits and pension and job security. Honestly, do you hillbillies like being poor and stupid?
          churchmotor
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BranMM
          LOL, the ONLY thing the UAW will bring are guaranteed "POT" and "BUD" breaks 4 times a day.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BranMM
          [blocked]
          Rick C.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BranMM
          They just don't realize they're voting against the enbetterment of the middle class: THEM.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BranMM
          [blocked]
        • 1 Year Ago
        @churchmotor
        [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
          churchmotor
          • 1 Year Ago
          Study your history, carpet baggers were AFTER the Civil War.
      William
      • 1 Year Ago
      A non-union southern made diesel Golf...oh yeah!
      Rick C.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Subcompact crossover? You mean a high riding hatchback.
        BG
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rick C.
        With pseudo-rugged cladding and doofy big alloy wheels.
      Matt
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Passat has slumped into a sales dog, so of course they want to get that expensive, brand spankin' new plant running at capacity. A mini crossover would be a mistake, as that market is pretty saturated, and a VW offering wouldn't provide anything significant over a Golf. A 3-row crossover, however, could be a massive hit. Those GM Lambda triplets are pretty crappy vehicles overall, and sell like hot cakes. If VW provided a vehicle in that segment that delivered 30+ MPG via diesel and wasn't awful to drive like the Lambda/Pathfinder/Highlander/Pilot/etc, they would have a hit. Chrysler will probably beat them to the punch with a diesel Durango though. We'd trade our Touareg TDI for one of those when kid #2 arrives.
      RocketRed
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hard to belive that VW does not already have a set of mid-priced CUVs already in testing. This is the most important maintream volume market in the U.S. right now, and they have zero offereings. Still they are wrining their hands about choosing a plant? Bringing that car to market should be a major firm priority right now. As it is, they wont have it in stock for at least 18 months. Meanwhile the lustre is already off the B7 Passat and the Jetta and they have nothing else in the pipline besides the MBQ Golf.
      Felipe Politano
      • 1 Year Ago
      I could BET it's not going to be the Taigun or any other subcompact for several reasons. 1) it is REALLY too small for America. I've seen it at the Auto Show and it's really tiny - smaller than a Sonic, possibly the size of a Spark.Not particularly tall or bulky either. It's one or two sizes smaller than the Encore. Even if it is sold in the US (I don't really doubt it), it's not going to be a volume player. 2) Where it IS going to be a volume player indeed is in Latin America - Europe too, but they're probably going to build some over there anyway. In Latin America the Taigun is supposed to start a new niche, positioned below the subcompact CUV leader, the inexpensive Ford Ecosport (which is one size bigger). That means the Taigun will have to carry very competitive pricing - and besides Mexico, all other latin american countries don't happen to find american built cars cost competitive AT ALL due to labor costs, exchange rates and even import barriers. 3) Taking the Taigun assembly to NA doesn't make sense if you're not going to build other models off that same platform. And it's the Up's bones we're talking about here, not the MQB. 4) It would also mean that a completely different engine family would have to be built in America, since the 1 liter turbo isn't shared with any other north american offering. And that would be even a weirdest investment given that the brazilian market, for example, that accounts for the largest slice of latin anerican sales, demands flex fuel (ethanol-gas) technology. 5) The next Passat will also be made upon the MQB platform under the Golf. That means the next generation VWs built in NA (both Mexico and US) will all eventually ride on the same platform. That would allow some product shifying between plants, so even the next Tiguan (rumoured to get larger) could be built in the US. But imagining the Passat will still be built over there by '16, a atretched MQB and bigger engines will be readily avsilable; so the (much needed) three row crossover will make a lot more sense.
      • 1 Year Ago
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      Will
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why not the Polo instead of the Taigun? They are both subcompact, and the Taigun will be pretty useless off-road anyway.
      INCREDIBLE BOB
      • 1 Year Ago
      There is going to be a lot more profit in the CrossBlue than in a tiny car -- and it was designed for North American customers. Not to mention that the Passat could share much of its interior and other parts, since they are in the same size range.
        Matt
        • 1 Year Ago
        @INCREDIBLE BOB
        Yeah, this Taigun chatter is just a smokescreen; VW execs should realize that 3-row crossovers are the cash cow for the US market.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
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