New Plant in TN was specifically slated to build the new and soon to be award winning 2012 VW Passat.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- June 6, 2011
2012 VW Passat - In TDI form, few competitors are even close to its mpg capability let alone its reasonable starting price at just $25,995.
Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen, and the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood inaugurated the new Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, TN late last month and in doing so, ushered in a new era for VW in the US. Currently, the plant is setup to produce up to 150,000 2012 Passat's per year with the ability to expand to as many as three different production models and upwards of 500,000 vehicles with future expansion. In addition, the new VW plant sets new standards in terms of sustainable, resource-efficient production with the new Passat having a domestically sourced content of 85 percent!
More than $686 million in local and Tennessean contracts have been awarded to date, including: more than $379 million to Tennessee and Chattanooga-area construction contractors and subcontractors awarded by the city, state and Volkswagen; and $307 million in annual contracts with local and state parts suppliers. Another $230 million in construction contracts are planned over the next 20 years. More than five percent of suppliers will be minority- and woman-owned by start of production, with the goal of 10 percent by 2015.
The Tennessee plant currently provides more than 1,800 jobs and when at full capacity, will include over 2,000 full time positions and nearly 9,500 indirect jobs with an estimated $12 billion in economic growth for the region.
Volkswagen’s new Chattanooga plant is part of a $4 billion investment by VW in the U.S. market. The environmentally friendly facility includes a revolutionary paint shop that significantly reduces emissions. A state-of-the art $40 million employee training center ensures adherence to VW’s exacting quality standards. Along with the financial and quality commitment, VW’s American workforce is expanding to more than 4,500 employees.
2012 VW Passat’s rolling down the new assembly line
Final assembly before water testing, final inspections and even a final road course test on each and every vehicle.
Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen:
"The Volkswagen Group has once again arrived as a local manufacturer in the United States as is proud to be part of this great automobile nation as a producer, an employer and as a friend and good neighbor to people in the region."
Since plant construction began in 2009, an automobile plant including body shop, paint shop, assembly facility, technical testing center, academy for the initial and advanced training of employees, and a supplier park with eight companies has been built on a 1,400 acre site in Chattanooga.
VW’s new facility will be among the world's most advanced and environmentally compatible automobile plants. The new plant is in line with the highest requirements of the U.S. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard, which lays down stringent provisions for the sustainable, environmentally compatible construction of buildings.
The Chattanooga plant on the banks of the Tennessee River is the latest of VW’s green investments in America with environmental responsibility and sustainability reflected in the plant’s features:
- Responsible Land Re-Use: The plant is under construction at Enterprise South, previously a Volunteer Army Ammunition Plant, now fully remediated and certified by the Tennessee Valley Authority. VW partnered with the state and city to distribute saplings for every tree displaced by construction.
- Energy Efficiency: Using the most efficient electric motors available for automated machinery, advanced laser welding technology, smart ventilation systems, improved air circulators and deflectors, air-to-air heat exchangers, continuous line lighting system with T5 bulbs and outside high pressure sodium vapor lights with mirror technology will save the annual energy use of 1,880 households.
- Wise Water Use: Meander creeks will collect, filter and recycle storm water to be used in a cooling pond and restrooms, helping save 359,999 gallons of fresh water, enough to meet the needs of almost 22 households each year.
- Groundwater, waste management and sewage systems meet stringent LEED standards to avoid flash floods originating from the plant, manage runoff and regulate the water supply.
- Emissions Reductions: A newly engineered base coat reduces vehicle paint drying time and CO2 emissions by 20 percent. Environmentally friendly roofing of thermoplastic polyolefins saves energy by improving weather resistance and resilience. Smart insulation in the plant walls is six-inch mineral rock wool panel for energy savings with no VOCs or CFCs — and it’s 100 percent recyclable. The facility is also a completely tobacco-free workplace.
One of the key measures taken at the plant is the use of a painting process without any filler, which reduces CO2 emissions by about 20 percent. Water efficiency at the plant also meets the most stringent requirements.
Volkswagen has built the world's first automobile paint shop to use a waterless separation process for topcoat application. Thanks to the use of collected rainwater, water consumption at the Chattanooga plant is also considerably lower than at facilities of a comparable size. In addition, the U.S. plant is the first Volkswagen facility to rely entirely on energy-saving LED systems for outdoor lighting. The production buildings and offices are also equipped only with energy-saving lamps controlled by motion sensors. The entire lighting system of the plant uses some 20 percent less energy than a comparable facility.
The United States is one of the world’s largest and most important automobile markets. The new U.S. plant in Chattanooga lays the foundations for VW to meet its target of boosting Group sales in the United States to more than a million vehicles per year by 2018 at the same time as winning a market share of about six percent for the Volkswagen Group including VW, Audi and Porsche as a whole.
The U.S. Passat was specifically tailored to meet the needs of the American consumer and is a key element of VW's current and future product offensive in North America. Better yet, it is the right car at the right time. And most important to us, preliminary expectations are that as high as thirty percent of the new Passat's will be 2.0L TDI turbo-diesels powered making more than just its production environmentally friendly