Thursday, July 17, 2008

Volkswagen Announces New Factory in USA

Poor sales are driving General Motors to slow down production and park many of its employees on the unemployment line. GM has some great drives, including the award-winning Cadillac CTS and the icon Chevy Corvette, plus fuel efficient green drives such as the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid. But, apparently, that's not enough.

The bad news from GM is at the same time that Volkswagen sales are booming enough that the company announced this week it will spend $1 Billion to build its first U.S. production facility, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The new assembly line is part of VW's plan to triple sales in North America in the next ten years.

Prof. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen AG, said the company hopes to sell 800,000 Volkswagens in the U.S. by 2018. Many of those will be the iconic Beetle, and the Beetle convertible, pictured here. The new factory will be able to produce 150,000 vehicles a year, including a brand new midsize sedan designed specifically for the North American market. Production is scheduled to begin early in 2011.

The new assembly line will add 2,000 jobs to the Chattanooga area -- perhaps some of them will be workers who move to VW from General Motors. And, maybe some of those about-to-be unemployed GM workers will head for the assembly line Toyota just announced it is building in the US -- its third US factory. See my article about that just below this one.

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