Volkswagen Celebrates Grand Opening

Volkswagen celebrated the Grand Opening of it’s Chattanooga facility on Tuesday, May 24, 2011. The $1 billion automotive facility manufactures the all-new 2012 Passat sedan that has been specially designed for the American market.

Volkswagen expects the manufacturing plant to produce 150,000 cars a year. The first models rolled off the line April 18 and over 1,000 have been produced since then. Already Europe’s largest auto maker, Volkswagen hopes its new Chattanooga plant will help catapult it to the position of number one automaker in the world.

Gray has worked with Volkswagen since 2009 with the design and construction of the Volkswagen Supplier Park, VW’s first design-build project, where VW suppliers are located in order to assemble and sequence parts for the new sedan. Other Gray projects on the Volkswagen campus include: a Recycle Center, Social Kitchens, Paint Kitchens, Arrival Building, Pedestrian Bridge, Bridge Guardhouse and MDO.

If you have automotive plant construction needs, please contact Chris Allen, Vice President, Automotive Market at callen@gray.com.

Please see below for an article that appeared on inautonews.com on May 24, 2011.

VW will build cars in America again after 23 years

After 23 years, Europe largest automaker, VW AG marks the grand opening of a $1 billion assembly plant in south-central Tennessee. The factory is scheduled to open today.

Ray LaHood, U.S. transportation secretary, is expected to attend the unveiling of VW’s first U.S. plant since it closed a facility in Pennsylvania in 1988 because of poor sales of the Rabbit.

Built on 1,350 acres off Interstate 75 that used to be the site of a government ammunition plant, the 2 million-square-foot Volkswagen plant employs about 1,700 people and is planned to have about 2,000 workers eventually.

By shifting production to the United States and using local parts suppliers, Volkswagen can guard against exchange rate fluctuations that can eat away at profit, analysts said.

The 2012 Passat will be roomier to accommodate American sensibilities; VW has promised a starting price around $20,000, which would make the midsize sedan far more competitive compared with its more luxurious but costlier predecessor.

While its sales are improving in the United States, it still is a relatively small player, with a market share near 3 percent, including its luxury brand Audi.

Volkswagen‘s best-performing year in the United States was 1970, when it sold 569,696 vehicles and had a nearly 6 percent share of the U.S. market.

    May 25, 2011

    Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a contributing author and not necessarily Gray.

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