Photo: Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant at 8001 Volkswagen Dr, Chattanooga, TN
Photo Credit: Google
Published January 7, 2021
Chattanooga, TN – In 2020, Volkswagen experienced one of their best quarters since 2014, and it was due in large part to the Chattanooga location and the Atlas-SUVS made there.
However, the overall sales for the company were down 10% during this past year.
Volkswagen, and other automobile companies across the country were negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic led to a loss in sales for companies everywhere.
The fourth quarter sales went up 11% from last year, totaling 94,330. The Chattanooga Volkswagen location makes the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sports SUVs, and they saw a 44% jump in sales in 2020.
The Passat sedan is also made in Chattanooga and they sold 6,774 in the fourth quarter, compared to 1,153 sales in 2019.
The Chattanooga-made cars from Volkswagen are so popular that the local base actually made 20,000 more vehicles in 2019 than they did in 2018.
However, Volkswagen sales across the country went down from 363,322 to 325,784 during 2020. Volkswagen was not the only company to lose sales last year, as car shopping wasn’t a priority for many people during the pandemic.
Hamilton County even saw a 3.6% drop in new cars being registered in the county.
In the early weeks of 2020 when the virus was first starting to spread, Volkswagen had to shut down their plants in Chattanooga and Puebla, Mexico as a direct result of the virus.
Scott Keogh, Volkswagen of America’s chief executive, held a press conference where he said the Chattanooga plant was one of the key factors in the success of 2020’s fourth quarter.
Keogh said, “The fourth quarter, it has been basically at max utilization. The work done there has been the real backbone of the success story for the entire year.”
Volkswagen of America’s executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer, Duncan Movassaghi, said it was mostly the SUVs that allowed the year to end on a positive note.
Movassaghi said that “Atlas sales were particularly strong,” and added that they brought in many new customers over the year.
At the press conference, Keogh also said that they will be releasing the first all-electric ID.4 SUV this year. They are set to hit the American dealerships in March of 2021. The vehicles will start out being made in Germany.
However, Chattanooga is set to start assembling the ID.4 during 2022. Keogh said, “The launch of the ID.4 it’s extremely important.”
Volkswagen was not the only auto company to end the year on a high note, as several others reported having successful final quarters in 2020.
General Motors had a 12% drop in sales but it grew 5% during their last quarter. They ended up selling 2.5 million vehicles while in 2019 they sold 2.9 million.
Toyota saw an 11% drop in sales throughout 2020, until December when sales climbed more than 20%. Overall, analysts say vehicle sales were around 14.5 million across the country compared to 17.1 million in 2019.