The first Volkswagen ID.4 electric car has rolled off the production line at the automaker’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory, VW Group of America CEO Scott Keogh announced Thursday in a LinkedIn post. Mass production doesn’t start until next year, however.
Finished in Glacier White Metallic, the first completed car is a validation build used to test out the assembly process and all related components. This is standard procedure for automakers ramping up production of a new model, and in this case could span more than 200 vehicles. Validation builds are not sold to the public, and are generally scrapped once they’ve served their purpose.
The ID.4 launched in the United States earlier this year, but vehicles sold so far have been sourced from Zwickau, Germany. U.S. production has been part of the plan for some time, as VW looks to achieve ambitious sales targets.
The company intends to ramp up production and sales to a mass-market level—seeing the rivals not as other EVs but at the popular Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V crossovers.
2021 Volkswagen ID.4
As VW confirmed with the initial rollout of the ID.4, the U.S.-built version will include a base model that starts at about $36,000 including destination, as well as an all-wheel drive variant.
It’s said VW aims to sell 500,000 ID.4s annually, globally, by 2025. That’s a third of the 1.5 million electrified vehicles the company aims to be producing annually by that point.
The Audi Q4 E-Tron is closely related to the ID.4, although so far there’s no plan to make that model in Tennessee. Both crossovers share the VW MEB platform with the ID.3 hatchback and numerous other planned models for global markets.
VW plans to make a second EV model at Chattanooga, according to earlier documents. That had been previously anticipated to be the Microbus-inspired ID.Buzz, but that model will be exported to the U.S. from Germany.