For the second time this year, Volkswagen is increasing headcount at its Chattanooga plant. After hiring 200 new workers in January, Volkswagen now created an additional 800 new jobs.
In the beginning of the year, 2,500 people worked at the Chattanooga factory. With this new wave of hirings, Volkswagen will have created 1,000 new jobs in Chattanooga this year. Volkswagen needs to fill the positions to meet customer demand for the new U.S.-produced Passat. The plant has been working daily overtime to keep up with the sales.
According to Edmunds, February 2012 was the biggest month for the Passat (8,189 sales) since August 2003. The Passat’s average days to turn was 55 percent lower than the industry average in the midsize segment last month. A Passat sits only an average of 24 days on dealers’ lots, the industry average in the class is 54 days.
Edmunds Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs encourages Volkswagen to add more cars to the plant:
”For now, at least, this extra production will absorb the Passat’s jump in demand in the US. But further down the line, Volkswagen will need to produce even more vehicles in the US to expand its product offerings — a small crossover, for instance — and meet its lofty sales goals.”
Volkswagen wants to sell 800,000 units annually in the U.S. by 2018. Edmunds says that VW will need to grow an average of 13.8 percent each year through 2018 to reach that goal.