VW Opens Plant in Chattanooga
Located on Chattanooga, Tennessee, the facility will be in charge with manufacturing, at first, the Passat model for the US market. Accounting for 85 percent of the production there, the Passat will form the backbone of the 150,000 units that will come off the new production lines.
The facility itself is a state of the art plant, including several important separate facilities: body shop, paint shop, assembly facility, technical testing center and an academy for training of employees. The manufacturing plant itself is backed by a supplier park that houses eight different companies.
The Chattanooga facility also marks several important firsts for Volkswagen. The site houses the first automobile paint shop in the world to use a waterless separation process for topcoat application and is the first Volkswagen facility to rely entirely on energy-saving LED systems for outdoor lighting.
The VW operation in Tennessee will make use of 1,700 people, but the effects of the plant opening spread far beyond that number. The Germans estimate that the demand for parts and services from Chattanooga will create an additional 10,000 jobs in the region in the following years.
"The Volkswagen Group has finally arrived as a local manufacturer in the United States. We are proud to be part of this great automobile nation as a producer, an employer and as a friend and good neighbor to people in the region," said Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen chairman of the board, during the opening ceremony.