Volkswagen's Jagla leaves Chattanooga for post in Germany

Volkswagen's Jagla leaves Chattanooga for post in Germany

February 3rd, 2013 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

Hans-Herbert Jagla, right, who oversaw the hiring of the Chattanooga plant's 3,200-strong workforce, is returning to Germany to be the human resources director of Volkswagen Group Retail Deutschland.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

One of the top Volkswagen executives to steer the ramp up of its Chattanooga auto assembly plant has returned to Germany.

Hans-Herbert Jagla, who oversaw the hiring of the plant's 3,200-strong workforce, has become human resources director of Volkswagen Group Retail Deutschland.

Taking over for Jagla at the Chattanooga facility is Sebastian Patta, who was head of personnel at VW's plant in Braunschweig, Germany.

Jagla, 59, came to Chattanooga as executive vice president of human resources in 2008 while plant construction was still in its early stages.

He said in an interview that VW brought the idea of a passion for detail to the Chattanooga plant and the company's focus on engineering.

The city's workforce, in turn, offered "an excited and can-do spirit," he said, adding that Chattanooga's employees built an award-winning car in the Passat midsize sedan. "It was good to work in Chattanooga because of the community," he said, adding that the plant's gear-up was a success. "I'm proud of the people we hired in Tennessee."

Coming to Chattanooga from a post as human relations director at VW's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, Jagla had been an outspoken advocate for developing more highly skilled workers in Tennessee.

He called for bettering efforts between companies and government to fill future slots at the VW plant and in other businesses. The official said that "education will determine the future ... in Tennessee. It's the most important thing."

Jagla said the work of the Chattanooga employees is the foundation for the plant's future. The VW official said the company has opened production plants worldwide and used that experience here. "That paid off and exceeded my expectations," Jagla said.