Volkswagen looking to boost 2012 Passat production in Tenn.

The new 2012 Volkswagen Passat, which is built right here in the United States, seems to be selling well for the German automaker. Volkswagen of America says that it is prepared to increase production of the 2012 Passat less than 4 months after it built the first one.

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V-Dub is still looking for a significant sign from the market to increase production at its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant.

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“We’ve already taken steps to decide how we will do it,” Don Jackson, president of manufacturing at the Chattanooga operations, said after speaking to an industry conference in Traverse City, Mich., on Monday. “We’ve looked at the different shift models to do it. We have the planning all done. We just haven’t pulled the trigger.”

The Chattanooga plant is able to produce 150,000 vehicles annually, but Volkswagen can make adjustment to increase output to 200,000 and 220,000 units per year. The plant will build between 45,000 to 50,000 2012 Passats by the end of 2011.

Refresher: The 2012 Volkswagen Passat is offered in three trim levels, S SE and SEL. Entry-level 2012 Passat models are powered by a 2.5L 5-cylinder engine making 170-hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. Standard transmission choice include a 5-speed manual while an optional 6-speed automatic is available. Moving up, buyers can pick a 2.0 TDI Clean Diesel 4-cylinder unit making 140-hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a 6-speed DSG transmission, the 2012 Passat TDI gets 43 mpg on the highway and a range of approximately 800 miles. The range-topping 2012 Volkswagen Passat is powered by a 3.6L VR6 units producing 280-hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a 6-speed DSG, the 2012 Passat VR6 will get 28 mpg on the highway. Prices will start around $19,995.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: AutoWeek