Finnish company Nokian put down roots in the South a few years ago, opening a brand-new facility just northeast of Chattanooga back in 2019 where they currently employ about 350 locals. In a spurt of good news for the area, Nokian has announced they plan to bump that number to 475 by the end of this year.
Volkswagen’s singular U.S. plant has toyed with the idea of unionizing for the past five years. Chattanooga Operations, in Tennessee, initially seemed fine with the establishment of a German-style works council. However, while the United Auto Workers’ first attempt to seal the deal with votes failed in 2014, the union has since managed to rally more staff under its banner.
The UAW is now calling for another vote (its fifth), claiming a majority of the facility’s hourly workers are on its side. Meanwhile, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee spent the first part of this week pleading with plant staff not to unionize.
Earlier this year, the big bosses at Nissan expressed their desire to grab a full 5 percent of pickup truck market share in the United States. However, chasing arbitrary targets has now fallen in favor of smart growth.
Still, lighting a fire under the brand seems to have worked, with Nissan moving nearly 1.5 million units in 2016, almost a million more annual sales than 15 years ago. With those numbers in mind, the company is acknowledging it’ll soon need a new assembly plant in America.
Toyota announced yesterday that its plans to invest $10 billion in the United States, revealed earlier this year, will grow by another $374 million with big spending at five different factories in five different states.
Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Alabama, and Missouri will all benefit. Though it’s unlikely the investments will directly translate to much in the way of new employment — Toyota promises 50 new jobs in Alabama — Toyota says “these investments will help to ensure the stability of the plants’ employment levels in the future.”
At the core of the investments? Toyota is spending money to enable greater production of the new TNGA 2018 Toyota Camry’s 2.5-liter engines and hybrid transaxles. Why America? “The investment is part of our long-term commitment to build more vehicles and components in the markets in which we sell them.”
Toyota sells 200,000 vehicles per month in the United States.
June 2017 was only the Volkswagen Atlas’s first full month on sale in the United States, but the Atlas, still ramping up inventory, already accounts for more than half of Volkswagen’s U.S. utility vehicle sales. In fact, the only Volkswagens that sold more often than the Atlas in June were the Jetta, Passat, and (if you count all variants together) the Golf.
2,413 units is not a terribly impressive number, although it’s stronger than what the Mitsubishi Outlander, Ford Flex, Mazda CX-9, and Volkswagen’s two other utility vehicles managed last month. But the rate at which Volkswagen is building the Atlas at the company’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, assembly plant suggests dealers are only beginning to see just how many copies of the Atlas they’ll soon have to sell.
Will there be buyers?
State lawmakers in Tennessee weren’t expecting to have the financial rug pulled out from under them when they passed a new DUI law earlier this year.
The law, which boosts penalties for younger drivers caught with alcohol in their bloodstream, is in violation of federal standards. Now, the state is scrambling to stop the loss of $60 million in federal road funding.
Skilled trades workers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga Assembly Plant in Tennessee voted Friday overwhelmingly to join the United Auto Workers union, the first UAW victory at an automotive plant in the South, Reuters reported.
The union vote was the first victory for the UAW, who tried unsuccessfully in February to unionize the entire plant, which included nearly 1,500 production workers. In August, the union filed to open voting only to maintenance workers and ballots were cast Friday.
Friday’s victory for the UAW only incorporated just over 10 percent of the overall workforce. According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, 152 skilled trades workers voted in Friday’s ballot question.
Volkswagen has halted production of the Passat TDI at its Tennessee plant, because if you can’t sell ’em you may as well stop building ’em.
The stop-order comes as the automaker is ramping-up production of the new Passat in Chattanooga for sales set to begin later this month or in early December, according to Automotive News, and is yet another result of the ongoing diesel emissions scandal.
Volkswagen will still invest $900 million in its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant despite company-wide cost cutting from its diesel disaster, the automaker announced Thursday.
The company had long planned on a mid-size, three-row SUV to compete in the U.S.. However, those plans were upended when the Environmental Protection Agency announced in September that Volkswagen’s diesels had been illegally polluting, and the company shed billions from its value in following days.
The three-row SUV, which may follow closely Volkswagen’s CrossBlue Concept, was announced last year for the Tennessee plant. Volkswagen said it would begin building the SUV at the end of 2016.
Passersby can now break a window to save a dog from dying inside a car on a hot day in Tennessee, according to Time.
That state added to its “Good Samaritan” law to include protecting pups from sweltering heat by breaking a window. According to the Humane Society, a car can heat up in 30 minutes to nearly 120 degrees inside if the outside temperature is 85 degrees.
According to the new law, people should reasonably search for the owner of the car or notify police before breaking the car’s window. Bark Post reports that 16 states have similar laws on the books.
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- Probert It's worth pointing out that this car gets this great range due to its very low cd rating. It ha a relatively small 77kw battery. This aero efficiency gives it about 50 more miles relative to the ioniq 5, which uses the same powertrain. KIA/Hyundai make really good EVs. Hopefully this becomes more common.
- ToolGuy My Author has a high level of self-absorption (nothing wrong with that, maybe).Corey you are a Lexus buyer. Told you already but you are pacing yourself (nothing wrong with that, maybe). Keep scratching off non-Lexi from your list and you'll be fine (maybe).Congrats on the new job/new industry.
- ToolGuy The [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Cherokee_(XJ)]XJ platform[/url] is super interesting to me, more so after owning one and working on it some (but not a lot, because it didn't need a lot). The overall size is almost perfect; add more space to the back seat (and carry it to the wheelbase) if we are starting over.One could argue, if one knew anything about vehicles, that the 4-door XJ is a major reason why U.S. fleet [all of everyone's vehicles averaged together] fuel economy is so bad in 2023.
- ToolGuy ToolGuy can't solve all the issues raised here tonight, but this does remind me that I have some very excellent strawberry jam direct from Paris in the fridge.
- ToolGuy Cool.(ToolGuy supports technology advancement, as well as third-person references)