Volkswagen to add 800 new jobs, increase production - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Volkswagen to add 800 new jobs, increase production

Photo by Angela Lewis/Chattanooga Times Free Press. Photo by Angela Lewis/Chattanooga Times Free Press.

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Due to a more than 26 percent increase of sales, Volkswagen announced Thursday morning that they will be creating a third work group and add a total of 1,000 jobs to increase production of the Passat at the Chattanooga plant in Enterprise South.

"People build success," said Frank Fischer, CEO of Volkswagen's Chattanooga operations. He said that based on the quality of the Passat has led directly to VW selling over 1,400 more of the sedans than had been expected in 2011.

The hiring of 800 new workers comes right after a recent announcement of 200 new jobs, bringing the 2012 total to 1,000 planned new employees.

"Volkswagen has invested over $4 billion in the U.S., and that investment is clearly beginning to pay off," said Volkswagen Group of America CEO Jonathan Browning. "We had a 26.3 percent increase in sales last year, the best year Volkswagen has had since 2002."

Browning noted that the Passat in now responsible for one out of every four vehicles that Volkswagen sell, and added that overall the company saw a 45 percent increase in vehicle sales worldwide.

"Customers want to buy Passats," Browning said. "We have seen the highest loyalty numbers ever seen in the U.S., a 16 percent increase in the 4th quarter alone."

Both Fischer and Browning made it clear they felt a major reason for the success and loyalty was the workers on the assembly line.  They noted the many awards and safety numbers for the car, noting that such awards are directly related to the passion and care put into the assembly of each vehicle.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam was quite proud of the fact that 25 percent of Volkswagens sold are made right here in Chattanooga. "It's incredible work you have done here," he said. "I am very impressed with the quality."

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger and Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield both spoke, echoing the sentiments of the Governor.

"Volkswagen has far exceeded all of our expectations," said Mayor Coppinger. Mayor Littlefield added, "With the new hiring, we'll have 3,500 people working in Chattanooga."

Volkswagen officials said that they will be accepting applications via their website.

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