A confident Volkswagen Group of America is moving ahead with its brick and mortar expansion in the U.S. With production steadily ramping up at the maker’s new American assembly plant, the German maker will invest another $40 million to build a warehouse in Roane County, Tenn. for distributing domestic auto parts for the Chattanooga-made Passat.
The 400,000-square-foot facility is expected to open by spring 2013 and will employ up to 45 people by 2016.
Though a relatively small investment compared to the roughly $1 billion Chattanooga plant, it underscores VW’s sharp shift in focus. Ever since closing an older plant in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, a quarter century ago, the maker had downplayed the U.S. market. But company planners now see the States as essential to achieving their global growth targets – VW aiming to be the world’s largest automaker by 2018.