The need for outside companies to help build parts and features for vehicles is evident in the automotive world. Some companies only build a few components while others help with a variety of items. The fact that several companies come together to create a vehicle that has the right look, feel, technology and safety is impressive in its own right. Smaller companies that build components and help to create the look and feel are reliant on the larger brand names that are badged on the vehicles for their success and their continued business efforts.
A new company has sprung up in Chattanooga, TN recently and it’s Yanfeng Automotive Interiors. This isn’t a new company on the global market, but one that is new to the area. The company officially opened a new manufacturing facility on January 19 of this year with one goal in mind; to support the Volkswagen Chattanooga team. The investment cost $55 million to create this new facility but it created 325 new jobs in the area and the team has started by helping to outfit the new Volkswagen Atlas full size SUV which will come in with a fantastic new look and interior style thanks to the team at Yanfeng.
The new Atlas is a vehicle that finds a way to make use of the space inside. There is room for seven passengers in a vehicle that measures 198.3 inches long, 77.9 inches wide and is 69.6 inches tall. This new vehicle will be the largest Volkswagen passenger vehicle in the US. The innovation inside the Atlas is impressive with folding seats that move so that passengers can reach the rear, a driver-centric display and the look of the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit up front that makes a huge difference in the look and feel of this big SUV.
The Atlas is being built on the MQB architecture of Volkswagen and the Yanfeng components of the vehicle include the floor consoles, instrument panels trunk trim and much more. This new SUV began production in December and is a huge step forward for both companies to create something new and impressive in the middle of the US. By adding the Atlas development to the Chattanooga plant Volkswagen added 400 new employees to this plant in the final two quarters of 2016 and is ready to hire as many as 500 more during the first half of 2017.
Things are certainly looking up for Volkswagen as the Chattanooga plant continues to grow and build new models. In the past, the Passat was the only vehicle built at this plant. There is a possibility some of the new MEB platforms may make it to this facility as well. With their interior arm nearby of Yanfeng Automotive Interiors, Volkswagen is poised to be productive and efficient in the process of creating and delivering the vehicles built at this facility to the US market for the foreseeable future. It should be interesting to see the new Atlas up close as it comes to market.