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VW Take Chattanooga Choo Choo To New Plant

Posted in auto industry, Volkswagen by Corey | July 17th, 2008 | 9 Responses |

Volkswagen is biting the bullet and opening a plant in Chattanooga Tennessee in early 2011, this will be VW’s first vehicle production unit in the US. The Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, Germany have agreed to the establishment and approved an investment of up to 620 million Euros the equivalent of $1 billion USD.

The first step is for an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles designed and a full production facility with a body shop, paint shop and assembly line. A modular production concept will be designed to ensure maximum flexibility.

The first car to roll off the line will be a vehicle designed and built specifically for the U.S. market. It is expected to be a mid-size sedan. In the medium term, Volkswagen will aim for some 2,000 employees working directly for the company, in addition to large numbers of outside jobs, for example, in supply and logistics.

According to Prof. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen AG, the growth strategy for VW will be 800,000 cars a year by 2018 in the ‘United States’, giving rise to the thought that this may not be VW’s only American plant.

Chattanooga was chosen because it had an already developed supply structure, and the potential of skilled labor and a direct connection to the transport infrastructure from the 550-acre site.

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9 Responses

  1. I wonder if the US will also get some of the very economical cars, like the European VW polo’s?

  2. robert says:

    i clicked this one because i was excited by the sound of the story. whoops i live in Chattanooga We’re all very excited about VW here everyone’s spirits have been lifted about the potential

  3. Rich Repko says:

    This is actually Volkswagen’s 2nd production plant in the U.S.
    The 1st was in New Stanton PA producing from 1978 to 1988.
    I was one of the fortunate employees during that time period.

  4. Blaine Stanziana says:

    Hello,
    I saw on the news the other day that Volkswagen Of America decided to invest nearly a billion dollars on a new assembly plant near Chattanooga Tennessee. Well for starters I would like to tell the world what Volkswagen Of America has done to the State of Pennsylvania and thousands of dedicated employees, of which I was one of them. Volkswagen opened an assembly plant in New Stanton Pa in 1978, when NBC news was there when the first Foreign car rolled off a United States Assembly line on April 10th 1978, I stood there and watched this historic event unfold.

    It was a huge milestone for the USA and Pennsylvania, it was never done before and I was truly proud to have been a part of this historic moment. We produced the Rabbit, The GTI, I drove the first GTI in the United States before the public and dealerships even saw a picture of one ,the Rabbit Truck, the Golf, The Jetta all made with Pennsylvania pride and quality. We produced 1.2 Million cars for Volkswagen from 1978 to 1988 when Volkswagen decided to close this plant after their Pennsylvania Tax Breaks had expired!! They came to the USA and basically destroyed thousands of lives in the process by not doing what ever it took 20 years ago to get a new car design that would sell, and listen more to their employees with their suggestions and concerns on manufacturing and production issues.

    Volkswagen has a lot of nerve for what they did to Pennsylvania and thousands of Employees, by bringing another plant to the USA. I am going to get in touch with NBC, ABC, and CBS news and tell the real story on what they pulled and how it could have been avoided. I have pictures of the first car coming off the assembly line, the 500,000 vehicle, the 1,000,000 Vehicle and sadly the last car to roll off the assembly line on 7-14-88. I also have a video tape of the entire assembly plant which was dedicated to me, I have the only copy in the world, this video was made for me due to an industrial accident in which I was not expected to live which took place 14 days before the plant closed it doors forever.

    I want to tell the real story on how VW came to Pa 30 years ago, Pennsylvania also invested over 70 million dollars in road and bridge expenses to help VW open this plant in which they did, but left as soon as the Pa tax breaks were expired and destroyed many many lives in the process. I could tell you about 7 friends of mine who committed suicide because when their job left in 1988, so did their lives as a productive member on a assembly line where we gave our best and we gave it our all, all of the time which was not good enough for Volkswagen. What amazes me is that the economy was much better than it is today, but they foolishly closed a great facility, but in 2008 with the economy in shambles, they now want to invest nearly a billion dollars in Tennessee, trust me the people of Pennsylvania will voice their opinions just as I am going to. They say fool me once it’s your fault, fool me twice it’s my fault. Contact me I will tell the real story!!!
    Blaine Stanziana

  5. Warren Kuhn says:

    Blaine: The plant closed 20 years ago. I seriously doubt it was the tax break expiration that caused them to shutter the plant. If it were then I’m sure other companies would do the same. I am sure it was a contributing factor though.

    New Stanton must be really economically depressed if 7 of your friends killed themselves after losing their job. If it was only your friends, do you think it might be YOU instead of the plant?

  6. Blaine Stanziana says:

    Warren Kuhn,
    Its a shame that your still walking the planet, but then again you were too stupid to even get a job at that plant.

    • Warren Kuhn says:

      Really? It’s a shame I’m still walking the planet because Volkswagen shut a plant down? You sir must be part of the generation where everything is someone else’s fault and getting back on your feet is accomplished by an unending and steady stream of Welfare checks.

      If 7 people killed themselves because they lost their job I don’t think I’m the stupid one. If there are no jobs in New Stanton Pennsylvania then you should consider a move. That’s what my parents did when the mills closed in western Pennsylvania.

      It’s been awhile, The Tennessee workers at VW have rejected the union (brought in at VW’s invitation) and the plant is undergoing another expansion. Tennessee loves VW and the jobs they brought to the community.

      Congrats on driving the first GTI before anyone in the world ever saw one. At least there was a silver lining to your dark cloud!

      Best of luck,

      Kuhn.

  7. VDBLU says:

    I would suggest you do some research before you post and look like you don’t know what you are talking about…Like now. Maybe the tax breaks had something to do with it but in 1980 Volkswagen sold 293,595 cars. In 1984, that number had declined to 177,709, and continued to decline with the exception of 1985 and 1986, So Volkswagen closed the Pennsylvania plant in 1988 because it wasn’t economically viable. Americans just weren’t buying Volkswagens. So why would a company stay here when they were barely selling cars in the USA anyway?? It’s cheaper to just import them from Germany to fill the 100-150 thousand dismal sales numbers.