Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
A camouflaged prototype of Volkswagen's new midsized SUV is seen on an off road trail at Prentice Cooper State Forest near Chattanooga, Tenn., on Monday, Aug. 29, 2016. The German automaker plans to begin production of the new model at it Chattanooga plant later this year.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Volkswagen's new SUV comes with a feature that automatically controls braking to each wheel as the seven-seater descends on slippery off-road terrain. The German automaker is staking its hopes on the new model being just as adept at arresting the company's sales woes in the United States.

The midsized SUV was seen as key to reviving flagging U.S. sales even before the Volkswagen's diesel emissions cheating scandal rocked the company to its core and caused one of the world's largest automakers to reassess how it does business around the globe.

The new SUV is scheduled to begin production at Volkswagen's lone U.S. plant in Tennessee toward the end of this year, with the yet-to-be-named vehicle arriving in dealer show rooms early in 2017.