published Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Panel OKs VW work

Audio clip

Steve Leach

Construction of Volkswagen’s auto assembly plant in Chattanooga continues to accelerate with a pair of related projects moving ahead Tuesday.

An Illinois company has won a $3.64 million contract for electrical work on the heating and cooling building for the Volkswagen plant going up at Enterprise South industrial park.

Schneider Electrical Inc. of Palatine, Ill., was awarded the contract by the city’s Industrial Development Board.

City Engineer Bill Payne said the company has an office in Nashville that will perform much of the work. Lawson Electric locally is expected to be a subcontractor on the project.

Schneider was the low bidder, he said. A state grant is expected to pay the cost of the work.

  • photo
    Staff Photo by Dan Henry Construction continues on the Volkswagen manufacturing plant and paint shop at Enterprise South on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Steve Leach, Chattanooga’s public works administrator, said the city has begun talks with Gestamp Corp., the first tier one supplier to land in Hamilton County.

“We’ve started discussions about the project,” Mr. Leach said about the layout of the $90 million plant that is to go up near the VW plant site at Enterprise South.

Officials announced last week Gestamp will buy about 40 acres at the industrial park and build the plant to supply VW with stamped parts and welded assemblies for the new VW sedan’s undercarriage.

Gestamp will employ at least 230 people within three years, a company official said.

Mr. Leach said his staff is moving quickly because Gestamp wants to be up and running by mid-2010.

“It looks like things are progressing right along,” said Ted Mills, the development board’s chairman.

about Mike Pare...

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 ...

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hirehere said...

It's great news that Lawson Electric is getting some of the local VW work. It's important even when contracts are awarded to outside firms that they take into consideration the ability of local companies to subcontract for parts of the contract for which they are qualified to do the work. It's good to see the Illinois firm recognized this and had a willingness to include a local company.

July 1, 2009 at 9:58 a.m.
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