Volkswagen Opening Engineering Center In Chattanooga

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
volkswagen opening engineering center in chattanooga

Volkswagen is launching an engineering center at its factory in Chattanooga, Tenn. to help improve the automaker’s fortunes in the United States.

Chattanooga Times Free Press reports hiring for the facility has begun, with the aim of bringing aboard 130 engineers and technicians — some of whom coming straight out of local and out-of-state universities — by 2017, with 70 more to be hired later on.

Speaking of 2017, Volkswagen also hopes to have a new building near the factory for the engineering center, which will be housed in a vacant building on the factory grounds in the meantime. Though building costs and size haven’t been determined, VW Group of America executive vice president Dr. Matthias Erb says the new center “could have its own vehicle test track and crash facility.”

Erb adds the Chattanooga center will also be the hub of coordination for all of the automaker’s R&D, design and engineering units in the U.S. and Mexico — currently handled in Michigan and Ohio — as well as help Volkswagen better serve consumers’ needs and bring new products to market sooner for the North American market.

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  • Dcars Dcars on Apr 08, 2015

    VW should understand that North Americans drive on average 12000 miles per year unlike thier European friends that drive less than half that mileage. VW cars wear out faster in the US and cost considerable more than most other cars sold here.

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    • LectroByte LectroByte on Apr 08, 2015

      @dantes_inferno > I’ll take that over the 75% of the rust-prone recycled-steel Hondas, Toyotas, Nissans, etc. on the road today. Why so much hate for Toyota and Honda? VW has had many shots at the American market, and never seemed to crack it after their success in the 1960's. You can't blame Honda and Toyota for that. > If you maintain a German car like a German vehicle – you’ll be surprised how long they last. I'm happy that you are happy with them, but your comments help explain VW market share. No doubt if you maintain them like a "German Car", whatever that means, then they will last a long time. Or will they? What kind of maintenance is there on sensors and wiring harnesses? Seems like all the former and current VW owners I know, myself included, it's a one-shot deal after a few years of expensive bizarre problems and dealer indifference, swear to never buy another one.

  • DrunkMike DrunkMike on Apr 08, 2015

    Let me tell you why this is a non-story. After being in the bowels of *the* major German Tier 1 and a customer of essentially the other one... Exactly ZERO major design decisions are made outside of Germany / Austria. This "Engineering Center" will be nothing more than plant support for pilot builds and other front line, "Fire Fights". Its basically a local buffer to protect that 40 (+/- 0) hour work week back home.

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    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Apr 08, 2015

      @DrunkMike Mike, I own a 2011 Tundra 5.7 SR5 and my impression is that the body panels may have been designed in the US, incorporating all the best features of US trucks at that time, but that everything chassis-wise is Hino, suspension, brakes, differential, bearings, etc, with the 5.7L V8 basically a Chevy 350 engine block cast in aluminum, with aluminum 32-valve DOHC heads from the Lexus LS460. That is not very complimentary to Toyota R&D but IMO dang near the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Toyota rarely does anything that deviates from what's already in their vast and numerous parts bins. I expect the new 2016 Tacoma to be more of the same, designed specifically to outdo the new GM midsizers so the Tacoma will remain the best-selling midsize truck in the US market.

  • Gasser Gasser on Apr 08, 2015

    Volkswagen: "Experience Confederate engineering"

  • Cabriolet Cabriolet on Apr 08, 2015

    Boy do we have some VW hate today. Always the same line. Toyota and Honda's run for millions of miles with no oil changes or parts replaced. No one mentions the recalls ruined engines, bad transmissions and i could go on. A car is made up of many parts and some parts fail. If a car is taken care of it will last a long time. If you just forget about servicing the car it will only go so far. I have owned many cars from Toyota to VW and to my way of thinking i like the VW best. If you want to drive a Toyota or Honda that is fine with me. As to HerrKelevn's BS about not being able to get the proper oil for a VW oil change. Walmart (that's right) sells Mobil 1 motor oil both in 1 Qt & 5 Qt containers with the large container going for $25.00. I wish people would check their facts before posting. In my area they use a lot of salt on the roads and a 10 year old Japanese car will have quite a bit of rust but the European & American cars seem to hold up better.