Chattanooga

Chattanooga Team Members

Chattanooga Team Members

The Chattanooga plant is excited to have reached the homestretch of its plan to hire and train more than 2,000 employees. The plant passed the 1,500-employee mark, all of whom will be responsible for building the 2011 Passat. In fact, in total, the Chattanooga Operations now employs 1,516 people. As a result, the company is three-quarters of the way to its final goal. Read more »

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Chattanooga Diversity and Inclusion

For demonstrating our commitment to diversity and inclusion, the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga awarded Volkswagen Group of America the Corporate Leadership Award at the League’s 2010 Equal Opportunity Day event. Long before the concrete was poured at our new assembly plant in Tennessee, a different type of foundation was laid for the future. The Volkswagen Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council for our Chattanooga Operations was formed. “We asked for the involvement of the community and individuals representing groups who have been historically disadvantaged, with the goal of ensuring that all employees are treated with dignity and respect, and that all qualified suppliers have access to business opportunities,” said Machelle Williams, Volkswagen’s General Manager of Diversity and Organizational Development. “We value the diversity of the team we are creating here in Chattanooga,” Don Jackson, President of Manufacturing for Chattanooga Operations, and an executive champion of the council, says. “A diverse team assures us that we have the community’s values included in all that we do, both here at the plant and in the community.”

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Volkswagen builds plants using the most advanced technology and best production practices from our operations around the world. From the site planning to manufacturing and delivery, new facilities like the one in Chattanooga feature smart technology and environmental design to help reduce waste and emissions, and save energy. In addition to advanced welding, painting, ventilation and lighting systems, the layout of the body shop at the Chattanooga plant is more compact as a result of optimized processes simulated in virtual reality. Our employees benefit from ergonomically designed working spaces, a fitness center and healthy food choices in the dining area. And to save on transportation fuel, 85 percent of the vehicles produced will be transported by rail.

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Before the first new vehicle leaves the Volkswagen Chattanooga assembly plant for America’s roadways, it already will have traveled 2.8 miles on the E-shuttle transport line, the first of its kind in the world. The finishing conveyor line is managed by 56 robots, which flip and dip the auto body into 10 water and paint tanks to coat and protect the vehicle. At the end of the four-level paint shop, the two hour process then finishes with a top coat and wax spray. “We’re the first in the world to use E-Shuttle,” says Rich Schmidt, Plant Engineering Manager, Volkswagen Chattanooga Operations LLC. “The old system required the unit to ramp into and out of the paint bath. E-Shuttle allows the body to be put straight down, turned 360 degrees, turned straight up and conveyed to the next bath. We’re able to reduce the tank size which results in less water, fewer chemicals and less energy usage.” Read more »

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The Volkswagen Academy is an innovative training center preparing employees for work at the new Chattanooga plant. High-tech classrooms also feature all the aspects of the manufacturing facility on a smaller scale to allow for hands-on training, including a machining area, welding area, electricity lab, autotronics center, automotive diagnostics area, and more. The Academy provides advanced vocational programs and promotes personal growth for workers and for those seeking employment. This dual educational track is designed to help workers prepare mentally and physically, so that when they enter the plant they are experts in their field. Partners in the project include: the State of Tennessee, Chattanooga State Community College, Tennessee Technology Center, Tennessee Technological University and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The 163,000-square-foot center also offers meeting facilities open to the community.

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Volkswagen Group of America cares for our communities and strive to be the best at what we do. Our neighbors in Virginia at the Herndon Police Department, and in Chattanooga at the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department and Chattanooga Police Department, share these values. That’s why we’ve proudly provided each law enforcement agency with two specially equipped vehicles that deliver the kind of performance they need to protect our communities, with added safety, comfort and style.

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