published Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

VW raising logistics site

Audio clip

Bill Payne

The “made in Chattanooga” sticker is being readied for the cars Volkswagen will produce at its plant and ship to dealers nationwide.

Work is to start soon on an $8.4 million logistics building where cars produced at the factory will be prepared for shipment by rail or truck, said Bill Payne, city engineer, on Tuesday.

The Chattanooga Industrial Development Board approved an $8.4 million bid by Gray Construction of Lexington, Ky., to build and equip the two-story, 46,200-square-foot structure.

Payne told the panel the logistics workers coordinate the outbound vehicles assembled at the plant.

“It’s a key building,” he said.

Payne said city and Hamilton County governments will pay for the project as part of the VW incentive package.

The logistics building will go up outside a perimeter road which rings the VW plant and is adjacent to a new rail yard under construction. The building should open early next year, Payne said.

Earlier, VW hired a Norwegian company, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, to provide vehicle processing and outbound rail yard management for the assembly plant.

Frank Fischer, chief executive of VW’s Chattanooga operations, termed the services “a crucial aspect” of the plant.

Wallenius, which plans to hire about 80 people, typically provides services such as installing floor mats and auto manuals in finished vehicles. Also, the company’s workers check car tire air pressure and body shop work.

In addition, the company readies the vehicles to be loaded onto trains for their dealer destinations.

VW is building a $1 billion plant where it will assemble a new midsize sedan for the U.S. market. The plant, slated to open early next year, is expected to employ more than 2,000 workers.

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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