Volkswagen adds 800 jobs to Tennessee plant

New jobs will bolster production of its Passat sedan.

March 23, 2012   by The Canadian Press

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.: Volkswagen will add 800 new jobs at its Chattanooga, Tenn., plant to boost production of its popular Passat sedan.

The jobs will increase the plant’s work force to more than 3,500 by the end of the year, the German company said. The additional workers will be used to bolster the existing two shifts at the plant and expand production to Saturday.

“We’re adding a third team at this plant for a simple reason: Customers want to buy Passats,”¬†said Jonathan Browning, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America.

Volkswagen sold nearly 23,000 Passats in the US last year, an 83% increase over 2010. Sales have been stronger so far this year. Through February, sales of the redesigned sedan topped 14,500, according to Autodata Corp.

VW built its first Passat at the plant last April. It now rolls out 35 cars an hour at the plant, which surpassed 50,000 vehicles in February.

“Volkswagen is definitely on a roll in this market,” Browning said. “I can assure you, we don’t plan to stop.”

Volkswagen AG, the world’s second-largest car company, said last week that it intends to increase deliveries and revenues in 2012 despite difficult conditions in Europe.

Earlier this month, the company said it will open a $40 million distribution centre for parts about 80 miles from Chattanooga. VW plans to hire about 45 people at the centre.

©The Canadian Press

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