Volkswagen last week opened its new $1 billion manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The facility will have an annual capacity of up to 150,000 vehicles, employing more than 2,000 workers.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Volkswagen AG Chairman Martin Winterkorn were among the dignitaries on hand for a May 24 grand-opening ceremony.
"The Volkswagen Group has finally arrived as a local manufacturer in the United States," Winterkorn said. "We are proud to be part of this great automobile nation as a producer, an employer and as a friend and good neighbor to people in the region."
|Volkswagen last week opened its new $1 billion manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tenn. Photo by the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development|
Volkswagen said the Passat produced at the Chattanooga facility will play a key role in the automaker's plans to boost its U.S. sales to more than 1 million vehicles per year and its U.S. market share to 6% by 2018.
An Eye on Sustainability
Volkswagen in a news release said the Chattanooga facility "will be among the world's most advanced and environmentally compatible automobile plants," built to LEED standards.
The plant will employ a painting process that does not use a filler, which will reduce CO2 emissions by 20%, according to the automaker.
Volkswagen claims the facility boasts the first automotive paint shop to use a waterless separation process for topcoat application.
Other sustainability measures include reuse of collected rainwater to reduce water consumption; LED outdoor lighting; and motion-controlled lighting in the production buildings and offices.
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