VW mum on prospects for Tenn. plant expansion

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Volkswagen calls its Chattanooga plant a global model for energy conservation and efficient production. But executives remain tightlipped about whether the facility is in line to produce a new crossover SUV for the German automaker.

A decision about production of the new model could come as soon as the quarter beginning in July. Local and state officials hope the company decides to double down on the plant that currently employs about 2,500.

A delegation of local officials traveled to VW headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, this month to make the case for expanding the Chattanooga plant, which began making the Passat sedan in 2011.

Economic incentives are likely to play a large role in the decision, just as they did when Chattanooga beat other sites for the plant in 2008.

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