Volkswagen Group inaugurated a new factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., May 24. The plant will employ 2,000 employees and can produce up to 150,000 vehicles per year.
The factory will manufacture the Passat model. 1,700 people already are employed directly by Volkswagen in Chattanooga. 10,000 additional jobs will be created in the U.S. component supply industry.
Volkswagen is investing about $1 billion dollars in the development of the facility, which will be among the world’s most advanced and environmentally compatible automobile plants. The new plant is in line with the highest requirements of the U.S. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard, which lays down stringent provisions for the sustainable, environmentally compatible construction of buildings.
One of the key measures taken at the plant is the use of a painting process without any filler, which reduces CO2 emissions by about 20%. Water efficiency at the plant also meets the most stringent requirements. Volkswagen has built the world’s first automobile paint shop to use a waterless separation process for topcoat application. Thanks to the use of collected rainwater, water consumption at the Chattanooga plant is also considerably lower than at facilities of a comparable size. In addition, the U.S. plant is the first Volkswagen facility to rely entirely on energy-saving LED systems for outdoor lighting. The production buildings and offices are also equipped only with energy-saving lamps controlled by motion sensors. The entire lighting system of the plant uses some 20% less energy than a comparable facility.