US: VW’s plant expansion to build SUV to yield 9,800 jobs image

A new study goes to show why states and countries are fighting hard to attract new automotive investments, spending big on incentives and other promises for support – the winner will get not only more revenue from the auto business, but also numerous jobs.

According to recent research conducted by the University of Tennessee’s Center of Business and Economic Research (CBER), the planned upgrade and expansion of Volkswagen’s sole US plant – located in Chattanooga, Tennessee – for the approaching production of a new mid size sport utility vehicle and the inauguration of a new North American Engineering and Planning Center could create up to 9,800 jobs and $370 million in new annual income after the factory becomes fully operational. “The findings in the CBER study demonstrate that the incentive package recently passed by the Tennessee legislature will result in an economic growth multiplier of several times the state’s investment,” commented David Geanacopoulos, executive vice president of Volkswagen America.

The plant’s upgrade and plans to bring a new model have been surrounded b controversy over the planned state incentives as Volkswagen opted to stay out of an internal battle that saw the United Auto Workers trying to establish an organizing base – the conservative state traditionally opposes unions. The study sees 2,400 new hires at the plant itself, with the planned factory upgrade and new North American Engineering and Planning Center yielding $217 million of new income and at least 5,300 indirect and direct support jobs.