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.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey