• Sep 3, 2007

The workforce exodus in Southeast Michigan is slated to continue, as Volkswagen's North American headquarters is officially heading over to Washington D.C. VW currently employs 1,500 workers in Auburn Hills, just a stone's throw away from Chrysler's epicenter. The move to D.C. comes as VW has lost about $2 billion in North America in 2005 and 2006. Past headquarter moves, like Nissan's shift from California to Tennessee, have helped pare-down a company's white collar workforce, and VW feels its workforce is bloated and in need of fresh blood.

While it's unfortunate for Michigan to lose yet another large employer, the move promises to be a big win for the D.C. area. It'll be tough for VW to improve its bottom line, however, with the Euro worth so much more than the Dollar at the moment. Perhaps a view of the White House and Lincoln Memorial will motivate the new VW North America workforce to keep making great products, but with price tags that are a bit closer to the competition.

[Source: The Car Connection]



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  • 29 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Perhaps European cars should sell for what they're worth, maybe then Americans will open their eyes to the big bad world and see what is happening to our currency in it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Thank God we still have J. Granholm to lead us out of this ongoing mess! I wounder if anyone has told her yet?
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is just the modern way to layoff workers. Umm, yea, we're moving to godforsaken DC so you can keep your job if you want to move your family but otherwise see ya. Why mess with buying people out and all the bad pub that goes along with that when you can 'relocate' and dump just about as many workers as you want. Do you think Nissan moved to Tennessee because it was the best place to locate a car company?
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's a terrific idea to get away from the mediocre Detroit-thin that pervades that city . . . but I'm at a loss for Washington D.C.

      If VW wanted to get to the East Coast, they should have moved to NJ where they could hire some good Mercedes and BMW execs.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Who in the right mind would move from Rochester Hills MI to D.C.? Rochester Hills has one of the lowest taxes in Michgian and when VW moved their headquarters from Auburn Hills to Rochester Hills they got another big tax break. On top of that Rochester Hills and the State of Michigan improved M59 with a new highway ramp just to keep them in the state. A very Strange decision if you ask me.
        • 7 Years Ago
        VW is probably getting some huge incentives and tax breaks for whatever county they've decided to roost in. Fairfax County is well known for providing a corporate-friendly business environment (although with them talking about extra taxes to fund the Dulles Rail, it could get somewhat painful very soon) and Loudoun County still has plenty of wide-open real estate to offer.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Umm... VWoA is still in Auburn Hills, it never moved to Rochester Hills. I see what you're saying about the low taxes and cost of living though.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Maybe they are distancing themselves from the eventual collapse of the MI economy.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Metro line is being built from tysons corner out to Dulles on 267 so they HQ could be located very near a metro station.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Maybe they're moving to DC in anticipation of getting new leadership after November 2008. After all, Halliburton seems to have done very well after Cheney was there...
      • 7 Years Ago
      VW designs its vehicles in Europe for the majority of its customers. Going to Virginia will do nothing to help the lack of a global perspective. If VW went to Southern California, they might have a chance to develop a global product strategy. This move makes no sense. Toyota is expanding its product planning for North America in Ann Arbor, MI. VW never took advantage of the OEM base in North America, its fatal error resulting in poor quality.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Re: the reliability comments, yes I know lots of people got burned with the last-gen veedubs, but I think they have gotten their act together -- I know this isn't a statistically valid sample, but my father has an '06 Jetta TDI that he purchased new that now has >50K mi on it, and it has not had one single problem. Not one. Not even a rattle. Of course, public perception takes a long time to change (just ask GM -- who has actually been making reliable cars for several years -- or Mercedes, who made complete crap for almost a decade before public perception of them finally changed for the worse).
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's not just JD power. I've know plenty of people with VWs and it's pretty much all the same story. The vehicles are not designed to take the kind of abuse that Americans dish out. Things just fall apart throughout the interior. It's a shame because VW makes some of the best vehicles otherwise.
        This move will more or less destroy VW in the US. I can pretty much guarantee it. Look how much of Nissan's momentum was lost in their move. Trying to replace half your workforce is never easy.
        • 7 Years Ago
        that relibility blameing is just US JD Power nonsens...

        You are not the third largest car producer (cars only without trucks and commercials vehicles) in the world if you only produce unrelible shitty cars like many autoblog user try to blame VW...

        2006 car´s produced (without trucks light and heavy commercial vehicles and busses)
        1. Toyota ~7,000,000cars
        2. GM ~5,900,000cars
        3. VW ~5,500,000cars
        4. Ford ~3,900,000cars



        Source OICA published 2007
        OICA = Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles ...International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm curious as to how the cost savings will be made. The D.C. area is one of the most expensive areas in the US...especially compared to Michigan. Nissan's move from CA to TN makes sense because the cost of living in TN is dirt cheap comparatively to CA....but definitely with the MI vs. DC thing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      One of the other stories said they would be out by Dulles.

      i don't get it. Hideous traffic, the worst drivers, beltway bandit culture (defense contractors and lobyists) ... This is a _better_ place for a car company than MI?
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