Volkswagen Atlas Ditches Two Seats for New Variant

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A concept version of the five-passenger SUV will be officially unveiled at the 2018 New York International Auto Show. The new face features a triple-slat grille as well as a reprofiled bumper, both more aggressive-looking than even an Atlas with the R-Line package.

Amid much fanfare Monday afternoon, Volkswagen officials announced the next-generation vehicle to be built in Chattanooga.

VW said it would reveal the model's name in NY.

VW spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan said in an email that the move "is not a reaction to the proposed tariffs".

The move comes after President Donald Trump earlier this month imposed steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, a move that drew sharp criticism from U.S. trading partners and prompted European Union officials to threaten to retaliate against some USA goods.

Taiwan to seek exemption from U.S. steel tariffs
Leading US trade associations have written to President Donald Trump urging him to halt plans to slap tariffs on Chinese imports. The letter to Trump was signed by 24 companies, including Kohl's, and also included Wal-Mart Inc., Target Corp., J.C.

The new SUV will be the third model made at the Chattanooga plant. The southeastern Tennessee factory, which also assembles Passat sedans, employs about 3,200 workers.

It also makes sense to build vehicles in the markets where they are sold to minimize shipping costs and avoid exposure to currency fluctuation, she said.

Here is the new Volkswagen SUV. Nissan, for example, recently started selling the Rogue Sport, a smaller and peppier version of its popular and larger Rogue crossover.

"During my time as governor, I've watched Volkswagen Chattanooga flourish from a single vehicle producer, starting with the Passat, into what it is today-a thriving US manufacturing operation that can produce three models, and counting", said Governor Bill Haslam. The manufacturer has already put about $900 million into its Tennessee plant to build that model.