July 15, 2018 marked the 10th anniversary of the day civic and government officials gathered with Volkswagen executives to announce the decision to build an automobile assembly facility in Chattanooga.
This decision resulted an initial investment of approximately $1 billion in Chattanooga and the commitment to hire 2,000 team members. Over the past 10 years, this investment has grown to more than $2.3 billion, resulting in 3,500 jobs and the assembly of nearly 800,000 vehicles.
“Volkswagen Chattanooga’s success is important to the overall strategy of the Volkswagen Group,” says Antonio Pinto, president and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “Reaching this milestone has only been possible through the contributions of each of our 3,500 team members and through our collaboration with the City of Chattanooga, Hamilton County and the State of Tennessee. We’re looking forward to many more years filled with growth and progress.”
Since the announcement 10 years ago, Volkswagen Chattanooga completed construction of the world’s first LEED Platinum certified automotive factory in Chattanooga. The first vehicle to roll off the assembly line was the award-winning American Passat.
In 2014, the factory underwent a $900 million expansion for the all-new Volkswagen Atlas – named the Cars.com Best of 2018. Volkswagen would later open the North American Engineering and Planning Center in Chattanooga, adding more than 200 jobs.
Most recently, Volkswagen Chattanooga was announced as the assembly home of a new five-passenger SUV, representing an additional $340 million investment.
“Volkswagen Chattanooga has found success in Tennessee, investing more than $2.3 billion in Chattanooga and drawing additional investment through its global supplier base, creating more jobs for Tennesseans,” Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam says.
“I want to thank all 3,500 employees at the plant. Your brand has become our brand, and while you’re making world-class vehicles in Chattanooga, you’re helping to build Tennessee as well. We’re grateful for that and the impact you’ve made.”
“It is hard to believe it’s been 10 years since I received the call that Volkswagen had chosen Chattanooga,” U.S. Senator Bob Corker says. “Made possible by the collective effort of many in our community and around our state, that was one of the most meaningful days in my public service career.
“Over the years, we have worked hand-in-hand with Volkswagen leadership and state officials to ensure the company continues to thrive in our city, and I’m thrilled for the thousands of Tennesseans who continue to benefit from this important partnership.
“I thank Volkswagen for their continued commitment to Chattanooga and look forward to many more years of success.”
Volkswagen Chattanooga has supported education in Hamilton County and in the region. In 2010, the onsite training facility, Volkswagen Academy, was established. The academy is home to secondary and post-secondary automotive training programs.
In 2017, the $1 million Volkswagen eLabs program, which provides over 11,000 Hamilton County students access to state-of-the-art digital fabrication labs in 16 schools, was launched in Hamilton County.
“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 due to their support of education,” Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger says.
Volkswagen Chattanooga has also remained committed to sustainability. The LED lighting used throughout the facility saves approximately 262,500 kilowatt hours annually compared to florescent lighting, more than two million gallons of rainwater have been recycled for toilet flushes and cooling welding machines and the plant’s 33,000 solar panels generate approximately 12 million kilowatt hours of energy annually.
“I’m immensely proud of the relationship between Volkswagen and the city of Chattanooga,” Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke says. “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’re grateful for the continued commitment they have in the city and people of Chattanooga.”