TN Governor meets with local VW employees amid scandal
In their first all-family meeting since the Volkswagen scandal broke, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam personally met with Chattanooga employees Wednesday in an effort to show the state is still committed to the product.
"One of the purposes today was to tell them the state of Tennessee isn't going anywhere in terms of supporting you all. We want this to be a success," Haslam said.
Delegates from the Tennessee General Assembly, like Senator Bo Watson, stood alongside the governor showing a united front despite questions yet to be answered by the automaker.
"Partners do not run from each other in their darkest hour. We want to be supportive of VW but we want them to be held accountable, certainly. But that's a discussion for someone else to have," Watson said.
"Those questions are going to get answered. VW is going to spend a lot of time dealing with a lot of legal issues in the U.S. and around the world," Haslam added.
Haslam spend about an hour at the plant, getting updates on the new 2016 Passat and the new SUV line. Two products he believes will serve as a vehicle to help the automaker survive this scandal in the United States.
"I still personally believe long-term the state has a solid investment there and if not, we still have the provisions in place to bring the money back," he added.
In a hearing set later this month, state leaders will look at the possible financial impact this scandal could have on a local level.
"The public will know that we put in as many safeguards as we can to ensure we protect their dollars as best we can," Watson said.
Haslam does not believe the scandal will impact the new Research and Development Center being built in Chattanooga and says positions are already being filled.