VW considering new product line at Tennessee plant
Addition of SUV production could double plant’s current size, AP reports
Volkswagen could decide by next month whether and how much to expand its Chattanooga, Tenn. manufacturing plant to accommodate a new VW auto line, the Associated Press is reporting.
Since opening in 2011, the plant has been an economic driver for the region, the state and for Volkswagen. According to the AP article, the plant creates more than $640, million in annual income and $53 million in state and local tax revenue, far more than the $577 million in reported state tax incentives Tennessee used to lure VW to the state. The plant also created 2,500 direct jobs, including a recently-expanded third shift, and more than 12,500 indirect jobs.
Now VW is looking at where to build its CrossBlue crossover SUV, and Chattanooga reportedly is in the running for the expansion. The Passat sedan currently is produced at the VW plant.
In a recent interview, Jan Spies, VW’s head of factory planning, told the AP that the plant was located in Chattanooga with expansion in mind from the start. He indicated the plant could double in size.
“It is designed to be mirrored, it is designed to be expanded and within that we have lots of flexibility to play with whatever should be inside,” Spies told the AP.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.