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VW Investing $900 Mil to Expand Tenn. Plant, Add New CrossBlue SUV

German maker will also set up new product development and planning center at Chattanooga plant.

by on Jul.14, 2014

The VW CrossBlue Concept vehicles rolls past the maker's assembly plant in Chattanooga, TN.

After a long delay, Volkswagen officials have finally confirmed plans to expand the capacity of their big assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee to produce and all-new midsize crossover-utility vehicle, a project that will cost the maker about $900 million.

After achieving significant growth earlier in the decade, VW is currently struggling to reverse a two-year sales slump that has threatened to leave it short of the ambitious goals it had set for 2018 when the company was hoping to sell 800,000 vehicles a year in the U.S. Based on the CrossBlue Concept vehicle, the new ute will play a “key role” in VW’s plans for the U.S. and broader North American market, declared the maker’s CEO Martin Winterkorn during an online news conference.

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“The Volkswagen brand will continue to go on the offensive in the American market,” said Winterkorn, who called the U.S. “one of the most important markets” for his company.

The VW CEO also announced that the German maker will add a new product development and planning center at the Chattanooga complex.


VW More Than Doubles Profits in 2011

Sales up nearly 15% as maker punches past Toyota.

by on Feb.24, 2012

Workers assemble a 2012 VW Passat at the maker's new assembly plant in Chattanooga.

If the latest numbers are any indication, Volkswagen is clearly on its way towards world domination.  The German maker is reporting that its profits more than doubled last year while global sales jumped 14.7%.

Volkswagen, no longer limited to the “people’s car,” but owning or partnering with a dozen different brands, has set out a goal of ending the decade as the world’s largest automotive manufacturer.  It didn’t quite get there in 2011, but with sales soaring to 7.2 million it punched by struggling Toyota, landing second only to revived U.S. giant General Motors.

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But shareholders and analysts are, for the moment, focusing on the earnings numbers, which totaled 15.41 billion Euros, or $20.5 billion, up from 6.84 billion Euros in 2010.  The latest figure is a full 1.5 billion Euros ahead of what analysts had been collectively forecasting – and triple what rival GM earned in a record year of its own.


VW May More Than Triple Size of Chattanooga Plant

From bomb bunker to ground zero in the battle for automotive supremacy.

by on Jun.14, 2011

A nearly-completed 2012 Passat gets ready to roll off the line at VW's new Chattanooga plant.

If some of the early construction crews were a little nervous when work began on the new Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, three years ago, they had a good reason.  In an irony not lost on members of the team overseeing the project, the mounds dotting the abandoned site had once housed World War II – era bunkers where the U.S. military stored bombs that would eventually be dropped all over Germany – perhaps on the VW plant in Wolfsburg, in fact.

To everyone’s good fortune, the bunkers proved empty.  And the fact is, these days, relations are a lot friendlier between the two countries.  But the sprawling facility is still on a war footing of sorts.

After years of dithering over its role in the U.S. market, Volkswagen has made a commitment to more than double its sales by 2018, to at least 800,000 vehicles annually.  Meanwhile, it hopes to bump its worldwide volumes to more than 8 million, Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn declaring, the company “continues to have its sights firmly set on capturing pole position in the automotive industry.”

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Chattanooga will play a critical role in meeting that goal – and that means that the plant that formally opened in the Southern heartland, last month, could very well undergo a significant expansion in the very near future.  Indeed, TheDetroitBureau.com has learned, capacity could readily more than triple, according to a senior manager, “if it were appropriate.”