UPDATE: What's being said about the Volkswagen announcement
Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen AG CEO: "I send my best wishes to Tennessee, to our colleagues at Volkswagen in Chattanooga.
The United States of America is and will remain one of our most important markets – both for the Volkswagen brand and for the entire Group. This vehicle will be a real American – large, attractive and with many high-tech features on board. Above all, the midsize SUV will be made by real Americans. So: Our midsize SUV will be a car “made in Chattanooga”! A car “made in the US”! And I think that is fantastic news –
for Volkswagen, for Tennessee and for the entire automobile country USA.
Because this means investments of US$900 million in the further expansion of the plant. Because this means 2,000 new, additional jobs at Volkswagen."
Christian Koch, CEO and Chairman of Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations: "We are proud to be making the new midsize SUV here. This is fantastic news for the plant and proof of the confidence placed in the workforce that does a great job here making high-quality cars every day."
U.S. Senator Bob Corker: “I deeply appreciate Volkswagen’s significant long-term commitment to the hometown and state that I love,” said Corker. “I am grateful for Governor Haslam’s steady leadership, for our mayors, our great community leaders and the workers at the Chattanooga plant, whose commitment to excellence helped pave the way for today’s announcement. Finally, I am thankful to be able to help see this through to today’s conclusion.”
“One of the most meaningful days in my public service career occurred six years ago when I received the call from the Volkswagen board room that they had chosen Chattanooga,” added Corker. “Today’s announcement is a similar high point, as VW’s significantly expanded presence means that thousands of more families will benefit from the good paying jobs being created at the plant.”
The United Auto Workers’ Gary Casteel, Secretary-Treasurer: "The UAW congratulates Volkswagen employees, the company, and the citizens of Chattanooga and Tennessee on the addition of a new product line. This announcement is a major vote of confidence in the Volkswagen workforce and the State of Tennessee, and it underscores the company's consensus with the UAW to secure high-quality jobs for the future. We thank Governor Bill Haslam for extending the state and federal incentive funds necessary to make the economics work for the new product line. State officials assured the public and Volkswagen employees that the decision on incentives for Chattanooga would not be related to whether workers exercise their right to join a union, and they kept their promise.
"The UAW knew that withdrawing its objections to February's tainted election, in consensus with Volkswagen, would expedite the company's decision on the new product line. The fact that the new line is being announced four days after the rollout of UAW Local 42 in Chattanooga reinforces the consensus that the UAW has reached with the company. A cornerstone of Volkswagen’s business model is employee representation and participation in the company's Global Group Works Council. Until now, Chattanooga has been the only plant not represented on the Global Group Works Council. With the formation of UAW Local 42, Volkswagen's employees in Tennessee now can join their fellow team members from around the world in securing a voice in the workplace. The members of UAW Local 42 are excited about the future and stand ready to roll up their sleeves and make sure the new product line is a success."
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam: ”Today is an exciting day not just for Chattanooga and Hamilton County but for all of Tennessee, and I want to thank Volkswagen for its significant long-term investment in our state," said. "The impact of this announcement goes far beyond the 2,000 new jobs because of the large multiplier effect of the automotive industry, and adding an additional manufacturing line and the National Research & Development and Planning Center sends a clear signal that Tennessee can compete with anyone in the global marketplace."
Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce: “We're pleased to officially confirm that Volkswagen is investing $600 million to expand Volkswagen Chattanooga and create 2,000 new jobs. As you know, we've been working toward this day since Volkswagen's initial investment back in 2008. The last few years have been a roller-coaster ride of hopes and challenges, so we're glad to report that Volkswagen's expansion will yield outstanding community and economic benefit.”