VW growing workforce at Chattanooga plant

Volkswagen is bringing on about 380 more workers for its Chattanooga plant as it ramps up assembly for its new Atlas Cross Sport SUV and refreshes its Atlas SUV.

The added jobs are expected to put the company past the 4,000-employee mark, according to VW.

“With a robust manufacturing plant established in Chattanooga, Volkswagen is bringing more exciting opportunities to the Chattanooga area,” said Jen Blackburn, strategic account executive at VW contractor Aerotek.

The five-seat Atlas Cross Sport, which has two rows of seats instead of the three inside the Atlas SUV on which it’s based, is seen by VW as a key volume seller.

Tom du Plessis, who heads VW operations in Chattanooga, said that while the plant was to have assembled about 107,000 vehicles last year, that number is expected to jump to 185,000 in 2020. That includes the updated Passat sedan, the Atlas SUV and Atlas Cross Sport SUV.

“What we’re effectively doing is increasing volume in the SUV market,” said du Plessis.

Aerotek is seeking workers with experience in production, manufacturing machine operation, warehousing and logistics.

Hourly pay ranges from $14 to $16 per hour with another $1.50 per hour for night shift, Aerotek said.

Last year, VW started work on an $800 million expansion at the plant to make an all-electric SUV by 2022 with plans to hire 1,000 more workers.

The expansion includes a 564,000square-foot addition to the body shop where Volkswagen will build both internal combustion engine and electric vehicles on the same assembly line.

In addition, the company announced it intends to build a 198,000–square foot plant for the assembly of battery packs for electric vehicles at the Chattanooga site.

Volkswagen has said the facility will be its North American assembly base for electric vehicles.

“This is a big, big moment for this company,” said Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, in November.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel

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Published January 24, 2020