Over 25 VW CCs, a new sedan launched by the German carmaker, rolled into Chattanooga on Tuesday with a contingent of national automotive writers.
Later this week, Volkswagen will work with UTC and Chattanooga State students to help show students how the automaker is marketing the new vehicle.
“One of the neat things is that VW will replicate a worldwide press conference for our students,” said Jim Barrott, vice president for technology at the technical community college.
Chuck Cantrell, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s assistant vice chancellor for university relations, said VW wanted to create an educational opportunity for the university and the college.
He said some students will have the chance to drive the vehicle and critique it as well.
Jim Gill, manager of product and technology communications for Volkswagen of America, said the automotive journalists are test-driving the new CC, a coupe-like sedan selling for under $30,000.
The route ran from Atlanta to Nashville and the group had lunch in Chattanooga, lining up in the St. John’s Restaurant parking lot off Market Street. The vehicles will return to Chattanooga later this week for the UTC and CSTCC tie-in.
“VW this year has been introducing a number of new models,” Mr. Gill said. “It’s part of our growth plans here in North America, as is the plant in Chattanooga.”
VW is building a $1 billion plant at Enterprise South industrial park. Plans are for the facility to produce a new sedan built especially for Americans at the plant by early 2011.
Mr. Barrott said students will be able to take part in “a real-world learning experience.”
Mr. Cantrell said that on Thursday, a group of marketing and public relations students will have an “informal conversation” with Volkswagen officials about the car company’s business and marketing philosophy. On Friday, the car company will re-enact an earlier press event unveiling the car, he said.
The auto journalists in the city Tuesday numbered about 50, representing newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle as well as niche publications such as Ward’s and Edmunds.com.
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 ...