This month marked the 10th anniversary of the day that civic and government officials gathered with Volkswagen executives to announce the decision to build an automobile assembly facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This decision resulted an initial investment of approximately $1 billion in Chattanooga, and the commitment to hire 2000 team members. Over the past 10 years, this investment has grown to more than $2.3 billion, resulting in 3500 jobs and the assembly of nearly 800,000 vehicles.
“Volkswagen Chattanooga’s success is important to the overall strategy of the Volkswagen Group,” said Antonio Pinto, president and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “Reaching this milestone has only been possible through the contributions of each of our 3500 team members and through the collaboration with the City of Chattanooga, Hamilton County and the State of Tennessee. We look forward to many more years filled with growth and progress.”
Since the announcement 10 years ago, Volkswagen Chattanooga completed construction of the world’s first LEED Platinum certified automotive factory in Chattanooga. The first vehicle to roll off the assembly line was the award-winning American Passat. In 2014, the factory underwent a $900 million expansion for the all-new Volkswagen Atlas – named the Cars.com Best of 2018. Volkswagen would later open the North American Engineering and Planning Center in Chattanooga, adding more than 200 jobs. Most recently, Volkswagen Chattanooga was announced as the assembly home of a new five-passenger SUV, representing an additional $340 million investment.
“Volkswagen Chattanooga has found success here in Tennessee, investing more than $2.3 billion in Chattanooga and drawing additional investment through its global supplier base, creating more jobs for Tennesseans,” said Bill Haslam, Tennessee Governor. “I want to thank all 3,500 employees at the plant. Your brand has become our brand, and while you are making world-class vehicles in Chattanooga, you might not know it, but you are actually helping build Tennessee, as well. We’re grateful for that and the impact that you’ve made.”
“It is hard to believe it has been 10 years since I received the call that Volkswagen had chosen Chattanooga,” said U.S. Senator Bob Corker. “That was one of the most meaningful days in my public service career and was made possible due to a collective effort by so many in our community and around our state. Over the years, we have worked hand in hand with Volkswagen leadership and state officials to ensure the company continues to thrive in our city, and I am thrilled for the thousands of Tennesseans who continue to benefit from this important partnership. I thank Volkswagen for their continued commitment to Chattanooga and look forward to many more years of success in the future.”
Volkswagen Chattanooga has supported education in Hamilton County and in the region. In 2010 the onsite training facility, the Volkswagen Academy, was established. The Academy is home to secondary and post-secondary automotive training programs. In 2017 the $1 million Volkswagen eLabs program launched in Hamilton County, which provides over 11,000 Hamilton County students access to state-of-the-art digital fabrication labs in 16 schools.
“Volkswagen’s impact on Hamilton County has been remarkable not only in the number of jobs and businesses that have been created over the last decade, but also because of their support for education,” said Jim Coppinger, Hamilton County Mayor. “Most recently, Volkswagen paid nearly 4.6 million dollars in payments in lieu of taxes to the Hamilton County Department of Education. Additionally, they have created innovative programs that have a long-lasting impact on the students who participate. Volkswagen’s latest education initiative was for a million dollars to develop 16 eLabs at Hamilton County Schools.”