Volkswagen Chattanooga has started production of the new SUV, called Atlas.

Wednesday marked the beginningprocess of building inventory for market introduction of the Atlas in 2017.

I am very proud of the hard work the Chattanooga team has put in to bring the Atlas to series production,” Volkswagen Chattanooga President and CEO Christian Koch said in a prepared statement. “The challenge of integrating a new vehicle line while simultaneously completing a major expansion of our facility was daunting, but our team stepped up to the task, and now we have taken another step toward the market introduction of the Atlas.”

Job fair

Volkswagen’s hiring partner, Aerotek,will host a career fair Dec. 16 from 2 to 6 the Volkswagen Conference Center, located at 8001 Volkswagen Drive.

The Volkswagen Atlas, unveiled on the Santa Monica Pier in October, launches a new chapter in the company’s American history, according to a news release.

The seven-passenger Atlas offers class-competitive levels of technology and room, combined with Volkswagen driving dynamics and attention to detail, leaders said.

“The Atlas marks a brand new journey for Volkswagen as we enter deeper into the heart of the American market, moving from a small car brand toward a more family-friendly lineup,” Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North America Region, Volkswagen, said in a prepared statement. “We are so proud that this vehicle was not only designed for the American market, but we built it in our factory right here in Tennessee.”

In conjunction with the facility’s expansion, Volkswagen Chattanooga continues to grow its workforce to meet the production demands of adding the Atlas to the existing Passat line.

Volkswagen Chattanooga currently employs 2,800 team members-up from 2,400 this summer-and will continue to hire additional employees throughout the ramp-up of the Volkswagen Atlas.

The Atlas is built alongside the Passat at the Volkswagen Chattanooga assembly plant, the result of an additional $900 million investment by Volkswagen in the facility.