VW: Up to quarter of sedans made in Tenn. were diesels

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – The head of Volkswagen’s lone U.S. plant tells state lawmakers that the German automaker’s plans for the Tennessee factory remain intact despite the fallout from the company’s diesel emissions cheating scandal.

Christian Koch, the plant’s president and CEO, said Thursday that diesels made up between 20 percent and 25 percent of the midsized Passat sedans produced in Chattanooga before sales were halted following the revelations.

The plant has made more than 500,000 Passats since 2011.

But Koch said that the focus of production has been shifted to gasoline versions, and that the schedule of production of a new SUV at the plant remains on track.

He also told the lawmakers that equipment is already being installed for the production of a Passat successor that could be hybrid or electric vehicles.