NASHVILLE -- Gov. Bill Haslam said today his administration is having "very productive conversations" with Volkswagen about a new sport utility vehicle at its Chattanooga plant but that "it would be very premature to say we have a deal."
The governor's comments to reporters came in response to reports last week in a German newspaper saying the German auto manufacturer was nearing a decision to pick its Chattanooga plant over its factory in Pubela, Mexico.
"We certainly hope that they are," Haslam said of the report, which was picked up last week by Reuters news service. "I think it's a little premature to say that it's a done deal. We continue to have discussions with Volkswagen, but from my standpoint it would be very premature to say we have a deal."
He characterized the discussions as "very productive. ... We talk with them on the phone all the time. We've had face to face conversations in the last two weeks."