Experience At Home

We’re proud to be At Home in America and hiring some of the sharpest minds in the country. Volkswagen Group of America Graduate Analysts are recent college graduates who rotate to different departments and locations around the country. Check out their blog to get the inside scoop on everyday life at Volkswagen Group of America.

Partners in Education

Launched in September 2008, our Partners in Education program was designed to support students and teachers interested in advanced automotive technology and next generation automotive engineering. We began with a five-year, $2.1 million Partners in Education initiative to create a comprehensive education partnership with schools and technical institutions throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and the [...]

Hard at Work in America

When we opened our first location in the United States in 1955, we offered just one model — the enduring cultural icon affectionately known as the Beetle. While the fun-loving Beetle and the “Bus” were capturing American hearts, Audi was quickening pulses with quality, performance and technological innovation. Audi joined the Volkswagen Group in 1965. And [...]

Summer of 2010 began the start of my career at Volkswagen.  At the time, I could have never anticipated just how much this company would mean to me a year and a half later. Based on my personal experience, Volkswagen of America (and it’s products) will always have a significant presence in my life.

It was an autumn day in late October 1987. The car was a bright red 1986 Audi 4000. It was my first drive, although I wasn’t exactly behind the wheel. I was only a few days old and strapped into a car seat in the back. It’s a shame I cannot recall the experience.

Fast-forward roughly sixteen years…

Once again, another autumn day in late October 2003. The car was a black 1996 Audi A4. This time I was in the driver’s seat with a freshly laminated driver’s license proudly tucked away in my wallet. My second “first drive” was slightly less smooth as I was still mastering the manual transmission, but it was just as monumental.

Growing up, I have always been passionate about cars and fascinated by the automobile industry. As I searched for a position to begin my career, I knew that in order to be satisfied with my job, I would need to work with automobiles. My desire to pursue a career at Volkswagen goes well beyond the performance, excitement, and beauty of the products. Instead, it is the impact that the products play in people’s everyday lives.

Continuing the tradition,
Brad

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Our Chattanooga manufacturing plant has become the first and only automotive manufacturing plant in the world to receive Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building certification program. Platinum certification is the highest level of performance in the green building certification program.

LEED certification is an internationally-recognized green building certification system developed by the USGBC in March of 2000. LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

Aspects of the plant that earned LEED recognition include:

  • Superior insulation provided by six inches of mineral rock wool, resulting in 720,000 Kilowatts per year savings.
  • Green power from the local hydroelectric dam
  • Use of LED exterior lighting results in 68% less energy used, up to 262,500 kWh per year and a reduction in light pollution.
  • Collected rainwater is reused to flush toilets and cool the welding machines
  • Highly reflective white roof, which minimizes “heat island effect” by up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Natural flowing creeks to capture heavy rains and restore a natural habitat
  • Low-flow water fixtures and no-touch sensors throughout the plant reduce water usage by 30%.
  • Plant was built on a brownfield property with no destruction of untouched nature.
  • Protected 100 ft. wide creeks and wetlands were established to create natural habitats with low impact on natural habitats.

“Volkswagen Chattanooga’s LEED Platinum certification is the fulfillment of a promise that Volkswagen has made around the world and in this community that we will work in harmony with the environment,” said Frank Fischer, CEO and chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga.  “Our commitment to building a LEED certified factory began in the planning and design stages.  I believe that this not only helped insure that we would achieve Platinum status, but was actually a very cost effective way to implement environmentally responsible building methods,” he said.

The Volkswagen Academy was also certified by USGBA as a Platinum LEED facility. The primary purpose of the Volkswagen Academy is to prepare new employees for work at the Volkswagen plant. In conjunction with Chattanooga State and Tennessee Tech, the Academy also offers an Industrial Technology degree and an apprenticeship program.

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2011 marks the 12th year that Volkswagen Group of America has dedicated itself to supporting initiatives surrounding Americans with disabilities.  As part of this on-going commitment, we recently celebrated the accomplishments of 15 young artists with disabilities at a Capitol Hill reception co-hosted with VSA.   VSA is an international organization founded more than 35 years ago by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to provide arts and education opportunities for people with disabilities and increase access to the arts for all.  This also marks the 10th year that our company has worked with this important program.

The award-winning artists, who are all younger than 25, live with a disability.  Their work was selected out of a field of more than 120 submissions through a highly competitive process that involved being juried by a panel of critical professional artists.  Volkswagen Group recognized their accomplishments in the form of significant financial support—$2,000, $10,000, even $20,000 to the grand prize winner —to apply toward their education, art supplies, and studio space.

VSA Executive Director Betty Siegel commended our company for the vision and support we have provided over the last 10 years by helping more than 100 talented artists and providing  more than $1 million to support young people with disabilities, including more than $400,000 in cash awards to artists.

The grand prize went to Dimelza Broche of Jacksonville, Fla. Her piece, Soul Reader, is an oil-on-canvas piece that we hope to have displayed at corporate headquarters in January, along with several of the other award-winning pieces.

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More than 30 Volkswagen Parts Service Center (PSC) and Customer Service Center (CSC) employees in Chicago and Portland recently let their mustaches grow in recognition of “Movember,” an annual November tradition in which thousands of men in the U.S. and around the world raise funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer.

With the support of the women in their lives, “Mo Sistas,” Movember “Mo Bros” raise funds by seeking out sponsorships for their mustache-growing efforts. The team “Stache for Cash” organized a Movember event at the PSC and the CSC, offering employees a day to wear jeans, called “Casual Tuesday,” if they contributed to the Movember charity collection. As a result of this effort, the centers raised $623.

The Stache for Cash teams raised a grand total of $3,183 for the Movember fundraiser.

Kevin Walker, Stache For Cash’s team captain, expounded on why he and his colleagues decided to grow their mustaches for a cause:

Q.   Kevin, can you tell me a little about your experience throughout the month of Movember?

A.    A small group of seven guys in our work area decided to band together, sacrifice our upper lips and participate in the Movember cause. Once word of our participation spread, there was a lot of interest from others in joining the team. We ended up with 39 team members from both the Portland and Chicago Service Centers, including men and women, to help raise money and awareness for men’s health.

The Movember organization supports prostate cancer and other male cancer. Specifically, donations are distributed to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG. We have found that this is a cause that doesn’t often get the type of attention other serious health concerns receive, and this would be a fun way to show our support. We set a fairly lofty goal of trying to collect at least $3,000 in donations as a team while growing mustaches to show our commitment. At first, seeing so many of us strolling the hallways with underdeveloped mustaches was a bit strange and even creepy. But as nature took its course, the bond amongst the “Mo Bros” grew, which led to a lot of good-natured joking, but also an appreciation that so many of us would be willing to look a little unusual in efforts to raise awareness.

I think some of the Mo Bros were surprised to see the results come the end of the month both on their face and in the team donations! I am really excited to report that as of the end of Movember our team has secured $3,183 in total donations. We had a lot of fun along the way, which makes the results even more gratifying.

Q.   Is there a story behind why you decided to get involved with Movember?

A.    I’ve found that men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, don’t get the same sort of attention as other health problems. I think there’s a tendency among many men not to discuss these sorts of topics or quite simply not be informed enough about them to join a discussion. Unfortunately, there seems to be a sort of stigma attached to the topic of prostate cancer. An event such as Movember gives men and women a reason to talk about this important topic all while having a little fun. I think the light side of Movember makes it “ok” for everyone. Through activities such as Movember I feel the stigma is being broken and more men are willing to join the discussion, not to mention put focus on their own health.

I would encourage work teams across our organization to get involved each year and sacrifice your faces for men’s health. It’s worthwhile and is one of the best teambuilding experiences I’ve been a part of.  I’d be honored to have new Mo Bros join us next Movember!

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In a way, those of us from Volkswagen Group of America on the west coast are like one big family. We interact with each other (area general managers, sales managers, dealerships and more) on a regular basis. However, sometimes we need some face time with our colleagues on the east coast, at our headquarters in Herndon, Va.  I’m excited to report that recently, I got to make the trip.

I visited headquarters to attend training for operations, sales planning, and financial processes. In addition, I got to learn about exciting product planning updates and more about our company’s emphasis, interest, and focus on customer enthusiasm. My favorite part of the trip was when President Johan de Nysschen took a moment of his time to stop in and introduce himself. I was impressed a member of our company leadership made it a priority to meet those of us in the training group.

All in all, the training left me with a renewed sense of purpose and excitement about the meaningful contribution I am privileged to make right now (and in just under three months in this role!). I’m so thankful that I have supervisors that are willing to take the time and interest in me to provide professional development training. I walked away with a greater understanding of the business and materials to keep my skills as sharp as possible until the next training opportunity comes along.

Now, more than ever, I am passionate.  Not only for our products, but for our people and the customers we serve.

California bound,

Scott

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Volkswagen returns to America! An exciting new chapter is unfolding for Volkswagen of America as they have fulfilled their commitment to produce a new car on American soil. Volkswagen is currently mid-launch for the all-new 2012 Passat. A commitment of this scale (approximately 1.5 billion dollars) has had a tremendous impact throughout the entire company.

This incredible commitment is exciting and directly impacts the daily operations of Parts Logistics.

Over the past few months, Volkswagen’s network of PDC’s (Parts Distribution Centers) have been working hard preparing to support this vehicle. Each PDC across the Volkswagen network has received parts that will support the new Passat throughout the launch phase. Generally speaking, the first parts received throughout the network will be the first to experience demand as these cars hit the road.

Because many of the parts in the new model are new to the Volkswagen parts network, each PDC team has been busy finding homes for the new material.

One of my recent assignments at the Wisconsin PDC has been to accurately enter each new part into our computer system (length, width, height, etc) and assign the proper movement indicators (used by the computer system to find empty warehouse locations).

The New Passat has also made a notable impact on the design of Volkswagen’s Parts Distribution network. A new RDC is operating out of a portion of the Fort Worth PDC building in order to support this new vehicle in our market and markets across the world where the car will be sold. Since this model will be produced in the United States and sold in many different markets across the world, Volkswagen of America has had to quickly adapt to its’ new role as a part exporter.

I’m very happy to have an active role as we make preparations for the 2012 Passat. It’s certainly an exciting time here at Volkswagen of America!

Thanks,
Kyle 

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