Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. announced it would build a U.S. automotive production facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where it will produce a car designed specifically for the North American consumer and invest $1 billion in the economy. With the new plant, Volkswagen will bring about 2,000 direct jobs to the area. A University of Tennessee study estimates that another 9,477 jobs will be created in the region through construction and supplier activity.
The announcement is an important element of the company’s growth strategy, which involves a tripling of the company’s U.S. customer base in the next decade. “The U.S. market is an important part of our volume strategy and we are now very resolutely accessing that market,” said Prof. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen AG. “We will be selling 800,000 Volkswagens in the U.S. by 2018, and this new site will play a key role.”
The company will build the facility in the Enterprise South Industrial Park, located 12 miles northeast of downtown Chattanooga. The 1,350-acre site is 100 percent owned by the city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County and is certified as an industrial megasite by the Tennessee Valley Authority.
“We started with a vision of transforming an idle Army facility into the source of thousands of family-wage jobs,” said Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey. “Over the last 14 years, I’ve worked with four different city mayors as well as county commissioners, city councilmen and countless others in overcoming barriers and objections to that plan. Today, we stand with our new friends from Volkswagen to make a historic announcement that will create new opportunities for our community for years to come.”