By on January 31, 2012

The line at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant will run a little faster. It will produce 35 cars instead of 31 per hour. That also produces new jobs. In an emailed statement, VWoA announced today that 200 new permanent jobs will be created at its Tennessee plant.

The increased production is needed to keep up with the demand. Volkswagen’s new car sales were up 23 percent for 2011, and a whopping 31 percent in December. The market grew 10 percent for the year, and 9 percent for December. The Passat, which is built in Chattanooga, is a brisk seller. “Each car that we make is sold on the spot,” says Volkswagen spokesman Guenther Scherelis. He did not want to speculate on January sales, which will be announced tomorrow.

This should create smiles all-around.  Ryan Rose, head of HR in Chattanooga, explains:

“These 200 new positions are all full-time Volkswagen jobs. We will use this opportunity to hire many of our current Aerotek contract employees. So, Aerotek will be recruiting to fill full-time contract production positions that will open up as a result. We will also be hiring additional supervisors and engineers – so there are a lot of opportunities.”

Aerotek provides contract employees to VW. The new full-time jobs will be integrated into Volkswagen’s current two-shift operation. Volkswagen gains experienced team-members, and new openings for contract workers are created. Who will be in-line for full-time jobs when the line will make a few more cars per hour down the road. ..

Currently, the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga employs more than 2,500 people, about 2,000 by Volkswagen, and an additional 500 by Aerotek. This number will now rise to 2,700.

It’s good that the UAW had hoisted the white flag and gave up on unionizing the South. The UAW already was not welcome in Chattanooga. With 200 new jobs created, the question would even more be:

“1,2,3,4 – what are we paying for?”

In other big news, Volkswagen now is doing something for it’s image when seen from above. Says Bloomberg:

“Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant will add a big, flat-mounted rooftop sign that can be seen from the air and is so large the plant’s chief executive said it will be visible online on Google Earth.”


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27 Comments on “Volkswagen Chattanooga: We Hire...”

  • avatar

    The south will rise…er, build VW again!

    • 0 avatar

      It makes me sad to think that this plant would be in Michigan, but for the fact that the UAW scares VW away. Detroit is rotting away, while over-privileged auto workers, bailed out by the taxpayers, scare away employment from Michigan. Michigan, which could be such a great place again. But no.

      And what’s particularly sad is that Michigan’s comparative advantage as a place to build automobiles erodes every time a new plant like this is established elsewhere.

  • avatar

    The south historically has good labor relations, so this is not a surprise. Coal miners are a whiny lot, just ignore them.

  • avatar

    when they say “sell” do they mean “lease”?

    I am rooting for VW pumping out German engineered and American sized product that will develop a name for quality and longevity. It would be good to have a consistently reliable brand that is not Asian.

  • avatar

    Well, more jobs…..good news. However as a previous owner of 3 Volkswagens, I get a little bit sick to my stomach thinking of how crappy these new U.S. models are. But never mind they are selling like big German Bratwursts….

  • avatar

    For those without the historical background, in VW’s first attempt at US manufacture in the 70s, they hired GM management and brought in the UAW at the start. It lasted 10 years.

    This time they got smarter.

  • avatar

    Anybody know how much these guys are making?

    • 0 avatar

      I think they start at $14.50 and probably top out at $22-$23 dollars. 25 bucks and hour is actually a livable wage in Tennessee.

      • 0 avatar

        Great, now we’re Germany’s Mexico. What’s the minimum wage in Germany?

      • 0 avatar

        @bikegoesbaa, I agree with you, in Tennessee this is decent compensation package. In the NYC area, you would need to choose between feeding yourself or paying rent on $14.50. Wasn’t always like that. At one time New Jersey had 3 auto assembly plants. Ford Mahwah, Ford Edison, and GM Linden. The people who worked in those factories were able to afford a modest house, take a vacation one a year and send their kids to college. Of course, as far as the Fox News addicts are concerned, working people shouldn’t be able to afford anything. We should all go to college, become Wall St. millionaire job creators. Anything else means you’re a communist.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t quite get where you’re going with this. Of course jobs in Tennessee will pay less than the equivalent job in NYC. What’s the point of comparing them?

        I suspect that the employees of the VW plant who are responsible and plan long-term will be able to afford a modest house, take yearly vacations, and send their kids to college.

        Large-scale auto plants in coastal megalopolises have closed because it is expensive to run large-scale auto plants in coastal megalopolises. Higher wages aren’t the only reason for this, but they are a contributor.

    • 0 avatar

      Not enough to purchase what they make.

      • 0 avatar

        Purchase what they make? What do you think this is? A first world country?

        BTW, people will line up for those jobs anyway. VW provides health care and pension. I’ll bet they get 200 applicants for each opening. What alternatives do people have now? Anything above minimum wage is a desirable job.

      • 0 avatar

        I just called a friend who works at this plant to confirm – there are quite a few line workers there who are driving cars they built, and many more who plan to purchase one near-term.

        So, you’re wrong.

      • 0 avatar

        A decent house in Chattanooga can still be had for under $100,000.

        Also – Don’t forget that these aren’t exactly rocket science jobs. For previously unskilled workers that amount is a gold mine.
        This is why we don’t like yankee carpetbaggers.

        You act like this is not much money. How much does Wal Mart pay?

      • 0 avatar

        “What alternatives do people have now?”

        Is it your contention that there was some other period in history where unskilled manual laborers in Tennessee had better alternatives than working in a modern VW plant for $14.50 an hour plus benefits?

  • avatar


    i find it kinda funny how TTAC (and other sources) were adamant that VW would fail dramatically with their cost reduced Americanised car coupled with traditional VW reliability issues… and now what do we have here?

    up 23% and more hires… and yet GM struggles with Volt fires

    its funny how the worm turns

  • avatar

    How far the mighty have fallen!

    Günther can actually state that his plant will hire 200 people and this is news?

    Time was, Ford built a plant that hired 200,000 (River Rouge, 1917). Pullman built a town for 1,300 families in Chicago. But this all was before there was an EPA or an OSHA or hundreds of other entrepreneurial-killing government entities.

    So it all makes sense. It is said that people get the government they so richly deserve,

    • 0 avatar

      Are you drunk commenting again? The reason they don’t hire 20,000 people anymore is due to the dramatic rise in US industrial productivity. We make more stuff with far far fewer people.

      You know productivity – like once 90% of people were farmers and there was barely enough food and now 2% of people are farmers and most folks are fat?

      • 0 avatar

        Funny. You think the reason 200 hires is news is productivity. Things kinda build themselves now, don’t they?

        A single company, Apple, actually work contracts 700,000 people overseas, out of the asphyxiating reach of EPA, OSHA, NLRB, etc., etc. Multiply that 500 times (the Fortune 500 companies), and you start to understand why comparatively so few jobs are created Stateside compared to the time of Henry Ford or William C Durant.

    • 0 avatar

      Reading comprehension fail: They’re adding 200 people, they now employ 2,700.

      Also, try living downstream from a chemical plant in the 20s, before the EPA was created. Or in early 60s LA, It’s fun to mindlessly bash all government agencies in general, but there’s a reason they came into being.

      • 0 avatar

        Reading comprehension fail: you don’t seem to realize that the comment is about the fact that 200 hires is news in today’s environment, not about total headcount.

      • 0 avatar

        @www12: You were the one that compared the addition of workers with the total # of workers in earlier plants in the 1920s.

        Also, the fact that simpler manufacturing work has moved away from the US is a result of increased wealth and specialisation. The US is still the leading manufacturer of high tech products (e.g. military sector), just not mass-production of consumer products.

        The added economic value of a Foxconn line worker is just not high enough to warrant paying the wages of an equally qualified American. Would you like to go back to 1920s wage and education levels? That’s what Foxconn jobs are now for the chinese. This has nothing to do with the EPA.

        In addition, there are just not enough qualified people in the US to scale the production of a new product from zero to 32m a quarter in 12 months.

        You seem to led your emotions clearly get in the way of facts. Apple is an outlier, not the norm. Only very few Fortune 500 company contract so many chinese workers. The global economy is more complicated than that. GM has sold more than 2m cars in China in 2011. Nice profits that provide money for high skilled jobs in the US (e.g. engineers). Where would you think these sales would go if the US started just manufacturing domestically again?

  • avatar

    That’s great that they’re adding more workers, it should make lots of people happy. I know there are a lot of people complaining on the TDI forums about the long wait times for their pre-ordered Passat TDIs. From what I read yesterday they were doing only TDI production for a while recently to get cars to people with deposits on them. If you look at your local VW dealer inventory there are lots of gas models sitting on lots, but very few TDIs (14 2.5 gas and 1 TDI SE at my local dealer).

    Hopefully this helps eliminate the long wait times and the gas and diesel powered cars prove to be reliable and VW doesn’t abandon another US factory again. Although I think they learned their lesson with Westmoreland.

  • avatar

    So how permanent are these ‘permanent jobs’? Until the state tax holiday runs out and they relocate to some other southern state dangling new tax holidays in front of them?

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