BERLIN, Germany — Volks-wagen’s engineers are developing cars to meet the most stringent environmental standards anywhere, and its Chattanooga plant will play a role in making the world cleaner, officials say.
“VW can meet the strongest emission standards of the world,” said Richard Dorenkamp, an official at the company’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Volkswagen officials are tweaking and developing engine and vehicle technologies for gas, diesel and alternative powertrains. Tobias Loesche-ter Horst, who also works at the Wolfsburg facility, cited a direct fuel injection technology that increases engine performance while lowering car emissions and enhancing fuel economy.
He mentioned VW Group’s Audi A8 model, which produces 210 horsepower, as an example of the leading-edge technology.
“It’s absolutely a benchmark,” Mr. Loesche-ter Horst said.
Plans are to continue to roll out the new powertrains in the United States, he said.
“It’s a question of time during which we’ll bring more and more to the U.S. market,” he said.
Just last week, Volkswagen Group of America Chief Executive Officer Stefan Jacoby said a “clean diesel” version of the sedan VW will make in Chattanooga also is expected to be produced at Enterprise South industrial park.
VW officials have said that orders for a clean-diesel Jetta that was made available to dealers this summer are being put on a waiting list because of demand.
The German automaker is one of the world’s leaders in diesel technology, and its officials believe there is a growth opportunity in the United States for diesel cars.
While diesel fuel costs more than gasoline in America, VW officials said the diesel vehicles achieve greater fuel-cost savings by getting more miles to the gallon. In addition, the federal government offers a tax credit for people who buy the clean-diesel Jetta, which meets alternative environmental compliance standards in all 50 states.
Volkswagen officials also said the company is testing electric hybrid cars, though those aren’t available for purchase yet.
In Germany, VW also offers vehicles that run on compressed natural gas. In Europe, the auto maker is the leader in sales in that technology, according to the company.
Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...