Frank Fischer, Chairman, and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC, talked to Lou Ann Hammond.
The Chattanooga plant is located in Hamilton County, Tennessee, USA. It currently builds just the Volkswagen Passat.
There are 1,400 acres, with more than 85,000 applications received so far. 150,000 Passats can be produced each year.
Volkswagen invested $1 billion but what about the land. Did they buy it?
The manufacturing depth for the Passat produced locally (NAFTA) was set at 85 percent. Did they meet that goal?
From Volkswagen’s press release:
The new plant 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.
One of the key measures taken at the plant is the use of a painting process without any filler, which reduces CO2 emissions by about 20 percent. Water efficiency at the plant also meets the most stringent requirements. Volkswagen has built the world’s first automobile paint shop to use a waterless separation process for topcoat application. Thanks to the use of collected rainwater, water consumption at the Chattanooga plant is also considerably lower than at facilities of a comparable size. Also, the U.S. plant is the first Volkswagen facility to rely entirely on energy-saving LED systems for outdoor lighting. The production buildings and offices are also equipped only with energy-saving lamps controlled by motion sensors. The entire lighting system of the plant uses some 20 percent less energy than a comparable facility.
The United States is one of the world’s largest and most important automobile markets. The new U.S. plant lays the foundations for Volkswagen to meet it’s target of boosting Group sales in the United States to more than a million vehicles per year by 2018 at the same time as winning a market share of about six percent for the Volkswagen Group.
The U.S. Passat from Chattanooga, specially tailored to meet the needs of American customers, and the Jetta produced in Mexico are key elements in Volkswagen’s offensive in North America. The next generation of the iconic Beetle will pick up the threads of the brands legendary heritage in the U.S.