Volkswagen adds 800 jobs at Chattanooga plant

Authored By Staff Report

Volkswagen will announce the addition of 800 jobs at its Chattanooga manufacturing plant during a Thursday morning press conference.

“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,” Volkswagen Group of America CEO Jonathan Browning said in a USA Today article.

The Times Free Press reported hiring for the new jobs will begin immediately by staffing agency Aerotek.

The announcement raises the Chattanooga workforce to 3,500. At the end of January, leaders announced they were adding 200 employees-in addition to the 2,000-member workforce it already employed-to keep up with production increases from 31 to 35 cars per hour. And leaders previously announced in late 2011 that it was adding 500 employees.

Demand for the Passat has been strong, and in November Brad Cobb, with Village Volkswagen in Chattanooga, said his only complaint was that he wished he had more of the vehicle, especially with the TDI engine.

The company sold 8.156 million vehicles in 2011-a 14 percent rise over the previous year. Leaders have said they want to sell 10 million vehicles worldwide by 2018.

When VW leaders announced that goal, analysts, such as Bill Visnic with, said it was a lofty goal, but the company has done better than many expected.

“They are on a trajectory that seems to be a pretty aggressive one,” Visnic said Tuesday. “They can’t seem to catch up with the demand.”

The auto industry in general saw better-than-expected sales in February, and Visnic said that might be the case for March too.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Browning will be on hand for the press conference.

More details to come from