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UAW, Outside Groups Battle as Critical Vote at VW Plant is Set to Begin

Vote could determine fate of auto union.

by on Feb.10, 2014

Workers at Volkwagen's plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., will vote this week to determine if the UAW will represent them.

Pro-union workers from Volkswagen of America’s assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., have called for an end to the interference in their election by outside special interest groups and politicians.

Workers at the big plant will vote this week in an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that could prove critical to the long-term viability of the United Auto Workers Union which has long struggled to organize employees at the growing number of foreign-owned “transplant” assembly lines.

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Following the announcement of the election, conservative-leaning groups like the National Right to Work Committee, and Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform launched an intense campaign in Chattanooga aimed at swaying the outcome of the vote. Among other things, they have posted a billboard featuring pictures of the Detroit’s Packard Plant, which closed more than half a century ago, and blamed the union for the Motor City’s woes. (more…)

VW, Andretti Pairing for Beetle-based Rallycross Team

Using 560-hp Beetles team competing this season.

by on Feb.06, 2014

Volkwagen of America and Andretti Racing are pairing up to compete in rallycross with drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed.

Volkswagen of America, Inc. and Andretti Sports Marketing are pairing up to enter a team, using VW Beetles, in the rallycross series. The Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team will run two cars in the series for drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed.

The team will initially compete this season with modified Polo rally cars, built on the chassis that won the 2013 World Rally Championship for drivers and manufacturers, and will switch during the season to the fearsome GRC Beetle.

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This all-wheel-drive rallycross car is considered the ultimate expression of the third-generation Beetle and will feature more than 560 horsepower from its turbocharged and direct-injection TSI engine. (more…)

VW Continues U.S. Expansion

Warehouse project follows new factory opening.

by on Mar.14, 2012

The new VW warehouse will help support the production of the Americanized Passat at the maker's new Chattanooga assembly plant.

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.

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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.