Norwegian firm to run VW rail yard

Norwegian firm to run VW rail yard

April 7th, 2010 by Mike Pare in Volkswagen

A Norwegian company will create 80 jobs in Chattanooga to provide vehicle processing and outbound rail yard management at Volkswagen's assembly plant.

Frank Fischer, chief executive of VW's Chattanooga operations, termed the services "a crucial aspect" of production.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, with U.S. operations in New Jersey and headquarters in Lysaker, Norway, manages similar operations for eight other North American assembly plants, said company spokeswoman Inna Getselis.

"We're the leader in the auto industry," she said.

Such services typically involve installing floor mats and auto manuals in finished vehicles, she said. Also, the company's workers check car tire air pressure and bodyshop work, the spokeswoman said.

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

Ms. Getselis didn't know when hiring will begin, but it will start well before VW production starts in about a year. She couldn't identify job pay levels.

Guenther Scherelis, VW's general manager for communication in Chattanooga, said WWL takes control of the cars for VW's national sales organization after the vehicles pass the plant's final checkpoint.

"With WWL, our national sales organization has chosen an experienced partner," he said.

ABOUT WWL

* Company: Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics

* Services: Provides factory-to-dealer transportation logistics for auto, agricultural, construction equipment industries

* Revenue: $2.3 billion annually

* Employees: 3,300 worldwide

Source: Company

Hear J.Ed. Marston talk about WWL. Read previous VW stories. Comment.

Mr. Scherelis said the 80 jobs are in addition to the more than 2,000 VW plans to create with the building of its $1 billion plant.

J.Ed. Marston, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce's vice president of marketing, called the VW plant "the gift that keeps on giving."

"We knew there would be follow-on companies like this," he said.

Mr. Marston said if the plant expands beyond the 150,000 vehicles annually VW initially plans to produce, more WWL-type jobs will be needed.