Staff Photo by Lesley Onstott
Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen accepts a gift from Christian Wulff, governor of Lower Saxony in Germany, after Mr. Wulff's speech at the Volkswagen luncheon at the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club on Sunday. A luncheon and tour of the Volkswagen plant followed the luncheon.
A Volkswagen board member said in Chattanooga today that the new auto assembly plant the German automaker is building at Enterprise South industrial park will be “the backbone of our success in the United States.”
Jochem Heizmann, the Volkswagen board member who oversees worldwide production, said the automaker believes in the U.S. market.
“We believe in a promising future for Volkswagen in the U.S.,” he said.
“The new Chattanooga plant is an essential part of our long-term growth strategy,” said Dr. Heizmann, who is part of a contingent of 60 to 70 German business and government officials touring the United States.
State officials, including Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, and local elected officials, hosted the German group at the Chattanooga Golf & Country Club this morning. They then boarded buses for a tour of the assembly plant.
Christian Wulff, governor of Lower Saxony, the German state where VW is headquartered, said that the automaker’s 62nd factory in the world going up in Chattanooga will position VW well in the United States.
Mr. Wulff, who is on VW’s advisory board, said the company was courageous to proceed with the $1 billion project during the down automarket.
The Volkswagen plant is scheduled to open in 2011.
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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 ...