During his one-week trip to the USA, Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Christian Wulff visited Volkswagen of America at the Chattanooga site accompanied by an industry delegation. The guests used the opportunity to find out more about the status of work on the new Volkswagen factory in the State of Tennessee.
“The United States is one of the most important markets of the future for the Volkswagen Group. Our goal is to participate in the anticipated recovery on the US auto market and to achieve significant growth,” Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, Member of the Board of Volkswagen AG with responsibility for 'Group Production', explained. “We are creating the framework for this by building our new plant in Chattanooga, a core element of our strategy in the North America region,” Heizmann emphasized and added: “Our highly attractive and environmentally friendly range of vehicles forms the basis of our present achievements – worldwide and in the USA. Our technology leadership combined with local production are the pillars for a successful future for the Volkswagen Group in the USA.”
“A presence on international markets is a prerequisite for economic success,” Wulff commented during a tour of the site. He added that this had again proved particularly true during the present crisis period. As a global company the Volkswagen Group was currently setting standards for successful partnerships worldwide. Summing up his impressions for the 50-strong delegation, Wulff said: “For me, Volkswagen’s new plant in Chattanooga is an excellent example of the dynamic and successful internationalization of Lower Saxony’s industry.”
The Volkswagen Group celebrated the erection of the first wall of the Chattanooga factory in May 2009. By the end of this year, all buildings on the approximately 5.6 square kilometre site including the body shop, paint shop and assembly halls will have been completed. Work on the interior of the halls will begin in the first half of 2010. The local team presently comprises some 150 people, one third of them international experts including specialists from Germany. From 2011, more than 2,000 employees will be working for Volkswagen in Chattanooga.
“The Volkswagen brand can look back on a long tradition in the USA. The beginning of construction work on our new plant in Chattanooga marks a new chapter in our joint history,” Plant Manager Frank Fischer said. “We believe in our lasting success on the American market. Our strong products and a great team are the best arguments.”
The Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory is an important element in the Volkswagen Group’s growth strategy. The objective is to triple the number of Volkswagen brand vehicles sold in the United States to 800,000 by 2018. From 2011, the state-of-the-art, one-billion dollar plant in Chattanooga will commence production of a model developed specially for the North American market. The plant is designed for an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles.
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