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VW's New Plant Stands for Quality, Low Costs, Jobs

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author photo by Holly Reich July 2011

Volkswagen's new plant in Chattanooga is more than just a billion dollar investment in the company.

But, why should car shoppers care?

Simple economics. The Chattanooga plant employs thousands of Americans while injecting millions of dollars into the economy.

"The plant is helping support the U.S. economy by providing more than 2,000 jobs at Volkswagen and creating more than 9,500 jobs by indirect effects of the investment," says Guenther Scherelis, General Manager of Communication for Volkswagen Group of America.

"Experts expect $12 billion in income growth and $1.4 billion in total tax revenue in Tennessew," he added.

Volkswagen's Chattanooga facility should keep costs down on new VW models built there, too. The new Passat is already several thousands of dollars cheaper than the outgoing model. 


Limiting production costs was key. By locating a plant in the U.S., Volkswagen could control the effects of currency fluctuation, while staying geographically closer to the customer. "More than 90 percent of the parts for the new Passat are sourced in U.S. dollars," explained Scherelis.

And, the plant is green, too. The 1,400-acre site that contains the 2.5 million square foot complex is, according to Volkswagen, among the world's most advanced and environmentally compatible automobile plants. With everything from a painting process that reduces CO2 emissions by 20 percent to an Eco Dry Scrubber System that cuts water usage by 50,000 gallons a day, this facility breathes sustainability.

VW has incorporated technological advancements that should make the cars built in Chattanooga as good, if not better, than those built in Germany. Volkswagen's Quality Management System in Chattanooga was certified according to ISO 9001, an internationally recognized quality management standard that focuses on system optimization and ongoing improvement. 

 "From the very start we have emphasized quality, whether in our planning or employee training, as a foundation to building the highest quality mid size sedan," noted Frank Fischer Volkswagen Chattanooga's Chair and CEO.

Andreas Linke, General Manager Quality Assurance for Volkswagen Chattanooga added, "We are proud of the Passat we are building and proud of the quality measures that each person who touches the process takes in their work. ISO 9001:2008 is an important step, but is by no means the end of the process of producing quality. In fact, it's just the beginning."

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VW's New Plant Stands for Quality, Low Costs, Jobs - Autotrader