VW is still committed to Chattanooga, Senator Bob Corker says

The Volkswagen assembly plant in Chattanooga has been chosen to build a new SUV.
photo Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. walks on Capitol Hill in Washington.

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said Monday that while Volkswagen and its customers have been harmed by the company's emissions scandal, VW's incoming chairman is committed to the automaker's Chattanooga operation.

"He has been pushing Volkswagen for years towards the U.S. market. So I think that as it relates to our own facility here I still think there's an even stronger commitment to making sure that Chattanooga is a place of operation," the former Chattanooga mayor said in a statement.

Corker said he knows the planned new VW chairman, Hans Dieter Poetsch, "very well."

"I know they want to build a base here," the Tennessee Republican said. "They want more market share and I hope everybody in Chattanooga understands that's where they are."

Corker said while it's hard for him to imagine a company like VW carried out the scheme to circumvent U.S. emissions standards, he knows a lot of people have been harmed.

"I've talked to numbers of people who bought clean diesel vehicles and thought they were buying something of value and paid more for it," he said.

On the other hand, he said, he knows VW is "committed to doing everything it takes to clean this up and to try and rebuild that trust on multiple levels."

"We've had those conversations and that's what they're going to do," Corker said.