NASHVILLE — While plummeting vehicle sales have indefinitely postponed Toyota’s plans to build its Prius hybrid in Mississippi, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen expressed confidence Tuesday that the recession will not affect Volkswagen’s plant to build an auto assembly plant in Chattanooga.
“So far all the word from Volkswagen has been absolutely pushing forward and moving ahead with it,” Gov. Bredesen said. “I’ve heard no reservations about that at all.”
VW plans to build a $1 billion factory that would employ about 2,000 people.
Toyota announced Monday that it was delaying production of its gas/electric Prius at a factory under construction in Blue Springs, Miss., citing steep declines in sales.
Over the weekend, Volkswagen spokeswoman Jill Bratina dismissed a report by a German auto publication that 2,000 VW managers would meet and discuss cost-cutting measures this week, including reviewing production plans for the Chattanooga plant as well as VW factories in India and Russia.
“There has been no change in plans whatsoever with the Chattanooga facility,” she told the Times Free Press.
Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber said he speaks regularly with VW officials.
“Everything is on go,” Mr. Kisber said. “For competitive reasons, they want a U.S.-based factory. I feel very confident that things are moving forward and will continue to.”
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...