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VW to Hire Another 800 Workers at U.S. Plant

By SARAH SLOAT

FRANKFURT—Volkswagen AG is adding 800 jobs at its $1-billion Chattanooga, Tenn., factory as it expands production to meet growing demand for the VW Passat mid-sized sedan in the U.S.

“Quite plainly, we need more Passats to meet the market demand and I’m glad that we can respond so quickly by adding staff in Chattanooga,” said Jonathan Browning, chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America.

Thursday’s disclosure marks the second time this year that Wolfsberg, Germany-based Volkswagen has increased its U.S. workforce. It added 200 jobs in January amid a broad push by German auto makers to reduce their exposure to the strong euro by making cars in local markets. The U.S. plant, which opened last year, now employs more than 2,700 workers.

“Local production is essential to making Volkswagen of America profitable,” said Albrecht Denninghoff, an analyst at German investment bank Silvia Quandt & Cie.

Volkswagen is targeting U.S. car sales of 500,000 this year, a rise of nearly 13% from 2011. The group’s longer-term target is one million sales in the U.S by 2018. Volkswagen sold 8.36 million vehicles worldwide in 2011. Volkswagen expects to break even in the U.S. in 2013.

Volkswagen is targeting U.S. car sales of 500,000 this year, a rise of nearly 13% from 2011. The group’s longer-term target is one million sales in the U.S by 2018. Volkswagen sold 8.36 million vehicles worldwide in 2011. Volkswagen expects to break even in the U.S. in 2013.

Growth was particularly strong for the VW brand in the U.S. with sales up 43% to 30,577 vehicles—8,189 of them Passats.

Germany’s auto industry association VDA expects growth in the U.S. market to offset deteriorating demand in Europe in 2012.

Workers at the Chattanooga plant has been working overtime to meet demand, Volkswagen said. Hiring more workers will allow it to extend weekly production capacity and reduce overtime for current staff.

Volkswagen is considering a second factory in the U.S. or Mexico for its Audi brand.

BMW AG, BMW.XE -2.35% the world’s biggest luxury auto maker by sales, is also expanding capacity at its South Carolina plant.

Daimler AG, DAI.XE -1.66% which has a Mercedes production plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala., plans to produce engines with Nissan Motor Co. at Nissan’s Tennessee plant as of 2014.

Earlier this month, VW also said it will invest $40 million to build a warehouse for distributing parts for the Chattanooga-made Passat. The warehouse will employ 45 people by 2016.

VW to Hire Another 800 Workers at U.S. Plant

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One thought on “VW to Hire Another 800 Workers at U.S. Plant

  1. Pingback: BMW 328i engine more powerful than BMW says – dyno results [video] | hothotblogs.info - 4

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