VW Chattanooga safe … for now

In this Oct. 5, 2015 file photo the VW sign of Germany's car company Volkswagen is displayed at the building of a company's retailer in, Berlin, Germany. Germany's motor transport agency is ordering a mandatory recall of Volkswagen cars sold with software that enabled them to evade diesel emissions testing, as it was announced Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)

The VW sign of Germany’s car company Volkswagen is displayed at the building of a company’s retailer in, Berlin, Germany. Germany’s motor transport agency is ordering a mandatory recall of Volkswagen cars sold with software that enabled them to evade diesel emissions testing. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)

Volkswagen officials in Germany announced Friday more than $1 billion in spending cuts for next year, though the automaker’s growing presence in Tennessee appears safe for now.

The painful and expensive fallout from the diesel engine cheating scandal — 11 million cars worldwide, including 500,000 in the U.S., were illegally rigged to pass emissions tests — claimed some big-dollar investments. Jobs worldwide, though, were spared.

CEO Matthias Müller told the press that a planned modernization of a Mexican factory will slow. VW will also delay construction of an R&D center in Wolfsburg.

Volkswagen officials in Chattanooga said the cuts won’t effect the Passat factory or the 2,500-plus workers there. Plans for a new midsize SUV remain on track, they say, with the addition of 2,000 more jobs.

And a research center planned for Chattanooga remains a reality, said spokesman Scott Wilson who referred this reporter to an October 29 announcement from the automaker’s U.S. boss who said all systems were go in Tennessee.

“The United States continues to be one of the most important markets for Volkswagen, and our commitment to Chattanooga and the state of Tennessee is clear proof of that,” said CEO Michael Horn.

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