CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Volkswagen has named a new head of its lone U.S. assembly plant and will have the position report to the CEO of its American operations rather than directly to headquarters in Germany.

The automaker announced Thursday that Christian Koch, the plant’s current president and CEO, will be succeeded by Antonio Pinto on Aug. 1.

Pinto will carry the title executive vice president and will report to Volkswagen of America President and CEO Hinrich Woebcken (VEB-kin) and Andreas Hinrichs, the chief production officer for the North American region.

Pinto joined Volkswagen’s operations in Portugal in 1994 and has since overseen production in South Africa and Mexico.

Koch became the second head of the Tennessee plant since it opened in 2011. Most recently he oversaw the plant’s retooling for the new Atlas SUV.