In Greek mythology, Atlas carried the world on his back. The new Volkswagen Atlas won’t have quite as big a load to shoulder, but it will still be the troubled brand’s heavy lifter.
The long-awaited sport-utility vehicle made its debut during a preview on the Santa Monica Pier Thursday night, and it will soon start rolling out of the expanded Volkswagen assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Atlas will join VW’s two other SUVs and, if all goes according to plan, help the automaker gain some much-needed momentum in a fast-growing market that has largely passed it by.
“This is the beginning of a new future for Volkswagen in America,” declared Hinrich Woebcken, the long-time BMW executive who was named CEO of Volkswagen Group of America early this year. The launch of the Atlas, he continued, means that “We are here to stay in North America.”