Volkswagen Group of America (VW) announces today the official opening of its new $1 billion U.S. manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, TN. The plant is expected to create 2,000 direct jobs, attract at least 500 new VW supplier jobs to Enterprise South (Chattanooga's new supplier park now under construction), and make an impressive $18 billion economic impact on the city.
"Volkswagen's choice to locate its only U.S. manufacturing facility in Chattanooga speaks volumes about our infrastructure, highly skilled workforce, and business-friendliness in working together with companies to help them move from construction to production very quickly," said J.Ed. Marston, VP of marketing and communications for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. "We're pleased this investment directly creates thousands of new jobs in the community, and has the potential to increase supplier jobs over time."
Company officials are betting the Chattanooga facility will help them achieve a few key objectives: substantially growing American market share, connecting more with its U.S. customers, and selling one million cars to U.S. consumers by 2018. The plant jumpstarts sales this summer with 9,000 new Passats built specifically for the American market, followed by the production of 150,000 Passats in 2012 when ramped up to full production.
The plant's design production capacity is 150,000 vehicles annually. VW said it directly employs 1,700 workers in Chattanooga, and expects this new facility will create 10,000 additional jobs in the U.S. component supply industry.
In addition to its manufacturing, the plant houses a VW Training Academy. This educational component--partnered with a local university--gives college students paid on-the-job training and prepares them for available advanced manufacturing jobs at the plant after college.
Already the Chattanooga facility boasts an abundance of clean technology and is recognized as one of the nation's greenest "sustainable" car manufacturing plants; a fact reflecting the core values of environmental responsibility and sustainability associated with the Volkswagen Group.