Some UTC students said Thursday they see future job opportunities for themselves with Volkswagen as officials with the automaker gave them an inside look at the car company.
“I’d love to work there,” said Courtney Poore, a student in the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s MBA program. “They’ve got a lot of green initiatives.”
VW officials talked about the company with over 150 marketing and communication majors, part of an effort to develop closer links between the German carmaker and the university.
“We’re going to need a pool of talent,” said Jim Gill, Volkswagen of America’s manager of product and technology communications. “Intellectual capital is so critical.”
Officials with VW, which plans to build a $1 billion assembly plant in Chattanooga, gave the students a real-world glimpse of selling a product and positioning a company in the marketplace.
Staff Photo by Angela Lewis Chattanooga State diesel technology students look at the Volkswagen CC engine on Friday at the school. Some students test drove the cars from CSTCC to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Mr. Gill said that despite a double-digit percentage drop in auto sales in the United States so far this year, VW is up 1 percent to 2 percent.
“We’ve got the product right for the time,” he said, citing Volkswagen’s fuel-efficient lineup of cars.
He said VW has a cross-country fuel economy tour using its new clean-diesel Jetta TDI. Mr. Gill said VW probably wouldn’t be doing such a tour if gasoline were a lot cheaper.
In addition, the euro’s strength over the dollar prompted VW to build the Chattanooga plant, Mr. Gill said. The weak dollar hurts profits on cars made in Germany and shipped to America for sale.
“It’s not favorable to bringing product in the country,” Mr. Gill said.
UTC senior marketing major Chandler Gaines said he is interested in seeing Volkswagen’s plans.
“I could work for it some day. It has a lot of opportunities,” he said.
VW plans to open a plant producing a car designed for U.S. drivers’ tastes. The plant is slated to start production by early 2011 with about 2,000 employees.
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 ...