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.
Volkswagen officials said Friday they’re taking head-on such premium brands as BMW and Lexus with its new CC sedan, to which Chattanooga State and UTC students gave high marks in test drives.
“I’m really impressed with the styling,” said Kevin Green, one of the students at the technical community college who VW put behind the wheel of 13 CC sedans.
VW product planner Bret Scott said the new vehicle will sell in the same segment as the BMW 3 Series and the Lexus ES.
“It has a real potential to be a segment buster,” he said.
Mr. Scott told more than 100 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and CSTCC students VW hopes to draw buyers of Toyota Camrys and Honda Accords who want to move into a luxury brand.
The CC sedan’s 2.0T automatic delivers 21 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway, according to VW.
Steve Keyes, Volkswagen Group of America’s director of press and public relations, said the CC sedan is a cut above the VW Passat, starting at $26,790 and topping out at $42,000.
“It looks more upscale than it costs,” he said at the college, where he and other VW officials re-enacted for students a recent press conference launching the CC.
Jim Catanzaro, CSTCC president, said VW could come in as a faceless company building its new assembly plant in Chattanooga. But the automaker is choosing to build relationships, he said.
The college and the German company are building “a long-term relationship in training and preparing the VW work force,” he said.
Jill Bratina, Volkswagen’s corporate communications director, said VW is planning a job and supplier fair here in early November.
“This is the beginning of many collaborative steps ahead,” she said.
CSTCC student David Albrecht said the CC sedan appeared to be “an outstanding car.”
“It’s got a lot of amenities,” he said.
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 ...