LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Volkswagen VOWF_p.DE has decided to set up a new factory in North America for the construction of electric vehicles for the US market, said Wednesday the new head of the German manufacturer for the Americas.
Scott Keogh, CEO of Volkswagen of America, speaks at a press conference at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California on November 28, 2018. REUTERS / Kyle Grillot
Scott Keogh, the new CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said that a new factory was needed to build a vehicle to be unveiled under the Volkswagen brand, priced between $ 30,000 and $ 40,000, which should arrive in 2020.
"We are 100% committed to the process of" We will need an electric car factory in North America, "and we are holding these conversations now," Keogh told reporters at the US Auto Show. Los Angeles auto.
An electric car that could face the Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) is one of the massive investments in electric vehicles that the biggest European manufacturer is planning to make.
Volkswagen announced earlier this month that it would spend nearly 44 billion euros (20 billion USD) in the development of electric cars, autonomous driving and new mobility services from here. 2023, while exploring areas of cooperation with the US automaker Ford Motor Co (F.N).
In order to meet the production schedule for 2020, the new electric car will initially be purchased outside the United States, Keogh said, before being produced at the newly chosen site.
The current US Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the Passat and Atlas are built, may be an option because it has enough room, but it will not necessarily be chosen, Keogh said.
Tesla has so far captured the largest share of the US electric vehicle market, but a host of new models will arrive from German and other manufacturers over the next two years.
For Volkswagen, although it is behind Tesla, it is not necessarily too late to conquer a US market that presents a "huge opportunity," said Keogh.
"The timing of the market is actually quite perfect," he said. "You need to have this crossroads of" Can you cut costs enough to be able to produce a car at that price, earn enough money, have the technological capabilities that make us a car that we would like to put on the market, and have acceptance of the market? & # 39;
"And when all these things cross, it's the ideal when you want to throw the dart."
Reportage by Alexandria Sage; Edited by Leslie Adler