Volkswagen has further solidified its presence in America with the May 24 inauguration of its new billion dollar plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. During the grand opening, dignitaries from around the globe converged on the 1,400-acre site, which touts an automobile plant including body shop, paint shop, assembly facility, technical testing center, and a supplier park.
Attendees included: Dr. Klaus Scharioth, German Ambassador to the United States, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, VWGoA President and CEO Jonathan Browning, and U.S. Senators Robert Corker and Lamar Alexander.
During the ceremony, Prof. Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, said, “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.”
The new plant will serve as the U.S. production site for the Passat model. With the U.S. being one of the world’s largest and most important automobile markets, the new plant lays the foundation for Volkswagen to meet its target of boosting Group sales in the United States to more than a million vehicles per year by 2018 and winning a market share of about six percent for the Volkswagen Group.
The plant will employ more than 2,000 people and produce 150,000 vehicles per year. 1,700 people are already employed directly by Volkswagen, and 10,000 additional jobs will be created in the U.S. component supply industry.
The new plant also underscores Volkswagen’s continued commitment to the environment and sets new standards for sustainable, resource-efficient production. The facility, which will be among the world’s most advanced and environmentally compatible automobile plants, is in line with the highest requirements of the U.S. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard, which lays down stringent provisions for the sustainable, environmentally compatible construction of buildings.