Volkswagen celebrates 10 years in the Scenic City
Sunday marked the 10 year anniversary of the announcement that Volkswagen would be building an automobile assembly facility in the Scenic City.
Volkswagen's decision resulted in an initial investment of around $1 billion dollars in Chattanooga. In addition, the company said it would hire 2,000 team members.
READ MORE | TIMELINE: Volkswagen in Chattanooga
Volkswagen said the investment has grown to more than $2.3 billion. There have also been 3,500 jobs created and around 800,000 vehicles have been assembled.
“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.”
The first vehicle to roll off the assembly line in Chattanooga was the American Passat. In 2014, the Chattanooga LEED Platinum certified automotive factory, which was the first in the world, underwent a $900 million expansion for the Volkswagen Atlas which was named the Cars.com Best of 2018.
Recently, it was announced that a new five-passenger SUV would be built in the Scenic City. This represents an additional $340 million investment, a VW spokesperson explained.
Two hundred more jobs were added when the North American Engineering and Planning Center was built in Chattanooga.
Several Tennessee politicians noted the 10 year anniversary.
"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,” Bill Haslam, Tennessee Governor, said. “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.”
Senator Bob Corker expressed his congratulations to Volkswagen:
"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. 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.”
Mayor Andy Berke said he is proud of Chattanooga's relationship with Volkswagen.
"When I think of the relationship between Volkswagen and the City of Chattanooga, it's one I am immensely proud of,” City of Chattanooga Mayor, Andy Berke. “Over the last 10 years, Volkswagen and its suppliers have solidified its place as a community partner helping to create stronger neighborhoods and grow our economy through job creation and vocational training opportunities. We are grateful for the continued commitment they have in the city and people of Chattanooga."
Throughout the past decade, Volkswagen has impacted education in Hamilton County as well. The Volkswagen Academy, which is home to secondary and post-secondary automotive training programs, was established in 2010. Last year, Volkswagen launched the $1 million eLabs program in Hamilton County 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,” Jim Coppinger, Hamilton County Mayor, said. “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.”
Volkswagen has had issues globally, though. The company is still fighting to come back from a diesel emissions scandal, which came to light in America in 2015.
For more information about Volkswagen's time in the Scenic City, visit the Volkswagen section on our website.