VW ushers in new era in U.S. with its Chattanooga plant

photo Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen's Chairman of the Board of Management, answers media questions Tuesday at the Volkswagen Grand Opening Press Conference at the VW production facility in Chattanooga, Tenn. At right is former Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey, currently Chief of Staff to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam

Volkswagen today ushered in a new era in the United States as the automaker officially inaugurated its Chattanooga assembly plant.

Also Volkswagen officials opened the door for possible future models to be produced at the $1 billion factory.

"Volkswagen is at home in America like never before," said Michael Macht, Volkswagen's board member in charge of worldwide production.

Macht said the Chattanooga plant has a critical role to play in rapidly growing VW sales in America.

Frank Fischer, who heads VW's local operations, said the company wants to expand its supplier park next to the plant. "There's plenty of room for more suppliers," he said.