Next Volkswagen Passat could be built Stateside

Following-up on last week's announcement that Volkswagen was looking at Alabama for a new manufacturing facility, the German automaker's management board is expected to make their final recommendation today. Following that announcement, Volkswagen's supervisory board, headed by former VW group CEO Ferdinand Piech, will make its decision by tomorrow. Whether Huntsville, Alabama, or second-choice Chattanooga, Tennessee, gets the nod, the move is key for Volkswagen as they attempt to increase sales in the United States with more targeted, and lower priced, vehicles. In addition to the Volkswagen Jetta (itself being redesigned to better compete with the Honda Civic) the new facility will produce an all-new Passat-sized sedan with a base price of about $20,000. Larger, in order to compete with the Toyota Camry, the new sedan would undercut the current Volkswagen Passat's pricing by about $5,000--a significant margin. The plant would open in late 2010 with an annual production capacity of nearly 250,000 vehicles.

[Source: Automotive News, subs. req'd]

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