Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said today that he’s “very hopeful” about negotiations with Volkswagen to bring a new vehicle line to the automaker’s Chattanooga plant.
“We’re having conversations that both sides are very engaged in and are very substantive,” he said after speaking at Chattanooga State Community College about the new Tennessee Promise legislation that pledges free tuition to high school graduates at the state’s community colleges and technical schools.
Haslam said the state is locked in a battle with Mexico over an incentives package to attract a new sport utility vehicle to Chattanooga that VW sees as a linchpin to improving its U.S. sales, which have fallen for 14 consecutive months.
“There are a lot of suppliers there,” he said about Mexico, where VW already has a huge assembly plant and is building another to assemble Audi SUVs. “We know who and what we’re competing with.”
VW officials have termed Chattanooga the front-runner to land the midsize SUV.
See more in Thursday’s Times Free Press.
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 ...