Hey, look! We're writing about Volkswagen's Chattanooga, TN factory and the focus isn't on yet another unionization effort. That's because the big news at the still-new factory is VW's plan to expand and increase its workforce in preparation for the arrival of the German brand's long-awaited midsize crossover.
The expansion, which will add over half a million square feet of factory space, overhaul the assembly, body and paint shop and add 2,000 employees to the factory's ranks, officially kicked off last month.
"This is a very exciting time in the history of Volkswagen Chattanooga," president and CEO of operations at the plant, Christian Koch, said in a statement. "A lot of hard work is going into adding this second vehicle line to the plant, but it is crucial to our efforts to move forward in America."
"Not only will Volkswagen's expansion create thousands of new jobs, it will strengthen their roots in our city," Chattanooga's Mayor, Andy Berke, said in a statement. "From the construction at the plant to the development of a visitors center, there is no doubt that Volkswagen is invested in Chattanooga."
VW Chattanooga has been a constant in the headlines over the past few years as pro-union and pro-business interests have battled over the souls representation rights of its roughly 1,500 workers. Just over a year ago, the UAW was defeated in its initial unionization bid, although pro-labor interests have not gone quietly into the night.
Construction is expected to continue for two years, with production of Chattanooga's second vehicle expected to commence in 2016. Scroll down for the official press release from Volkswagen.