In 2012, Volkswagen leaders continued to move toward their 2018 goal of being the nation’s largest car manufacturer. Company leaders have said that United States market is an important piece of that plan, and Chattanooga’s plant likely has a significant role in meeting those goals.
Although leaders haven’t confirmed any new local manufacturing plans, some industry insiders said that Chattanooga’s plant will eventually have to produce more than the Passat to get maximum profitability.
“The [Chattanooga] plant really is the cornerstone of the grander plan, which is to vastly increase sales in the U.S.,” Bill Visnic, Edmunds.com senior analyst, said.
Autoweek recently reported that the new VW SUV would be made in Chattanooga, although they didn’t cite a source, and a local spokesman said that leaders have not made that decision yet.
In May 2011, Volkswagen opened its Chattanooga plant. At that time, leaders said the opening represented a major milestone for the company and a big step toward its 2018 goals.
In March of 2012, local VW leaders said they added more than 1,000 jobs in 2012, bringing the total number of employees to more than 3,000. That’s more than VW leaders initially promised for Chattanooga. In 2012, Volkswagen sold more than twice the volume it did in 2009. And, in the month of December, the company sold 44,005 cars. That’s a 35.4 percent increase, which makes it the best December for the brand since 1970.