VW Hits 500,000 in Chattanooga
The Volkswagen Plant in Chattanooga went into production in April 2011. Its initial objective was to produce the Passat sedan that was developed specifically for the North American market (as in other global markets have a different Passat).
When the car first hit the roads, it gained plenty of favor, such as being named the 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year, among other accolades.
Unfortunately, the Passat hasn’t been performing particularly well in the U.S. market. Through June 2015, sales of the car were off 15.2% from the same period in 2014. And if we look back to how it fared in the first half of 2014, it was down 11.3% from the first half of 2013.
Anyway, the men and women at Volkswagen Chattanooga deserve a tip of the proverbial hat because on Wednesday of this week they produced the 500,000th Passat.
Volkswagen Group knows that they’ve got a fine manufacturing facility there in southeastern Tennessee because they are investing $900-million to expand the plant to build a seven-seat midsize SUV. The start of production is planned for late 2016.
There are some 2,400 people working in the plant. The expansion will add 2,000 more.
To know that 3,000 cars have been delivered since October 2015 would undoubtedly result in a shrug: in 2017 Toyota delivered 387,081 Camrys, so that 3,000 is less than one percent, and this is in one year, not just over two.
Ford has made an accomplishment that will never be bested, never even be tied.
The common wisdom seems to be that midsize cars have pretty much had it in the U.S. new car market.