• Jan 5th 2009 at 11:29AM
  • 31
When building a new factory, especially one as large and complex as an auto manufacturing plant, there are plenty of elements that can throw things off schedule. Scheduling itself, however, is rarely the problem, especially for a German company. But that's the reason why Volkswagen has delayed the groundbreaking ceremony for its new plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to VW spokespersons, the ceremony is being delayed until March due to several members of the company's management board in Wolfsburg wanting to be present, but can't make it any earlier. (And it's not even Oktoberfest yet!)
However, Volkswagen insists that construction of the $1 billion plant is progressing as planned. This also includes the city's preparations for hosting the factory, refurbishing office buildings downtown, the opening of a new school for the German-speaking children of VW employees, stores and restaurants to cater to the workforce, as well as space for the vendors and suppliers who are expected to come to town to support the factory. In the words of the director of the local development organization, "We're so fortunate that, given the economy and that kind of thing, we have robust employers in downtown." Indeed.

[Source: msnbc.com]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      guess what.
      The VW managment isn´t back from Brasil until Carneval ends ;)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Article makes me sick. The hypocrisy of the Southern Senators. This part especially, "This also includes the city's preparations for hosting the factory, refurbishing office buildings downtown, the opening of a new school for the German-speaking children of VW employees." Welcome to Chattanoogaberg home to the German Designed and "American" built VW. Yah dis is Hanz and dis is Franz and were here to pump.....you up.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Read through your meandering and disjointed comment looking for a point. Did not find one.

        ...article makes me sick... hypocrisy or Southern Senators....city preparing to host factory, opening school for German children... Hand und Franz.. ???
      • 6 Years Ago
      on Alabama, anyone know how much $ it gets from the feds every time a storm tears up the gulf coast?
      "JUDY-JUDY-JUDY" was not said by G. Peck. was suppose to have been said by Cary Grant, but he didn't either.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Better hope Volkswagen does well or that southern fried plant won't ever happen or will be closed lickety split.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Funny, didn't Volkswagon have a plant in Pennsylvania? Why yes they did and it now makes, or at least it did until a couple of weeks ago, make Sony color TV's.
      I guess us Pennsylvanians just didn't feel like giving the store away anymore.
        • 6 Years Ago
        My rear projection LCD Sony TV was also built in Pennsylvania. Which makes sense since there was about 1 cubic foot of expensive stuff and 20 cubic feet of air in it. Just send the expensive bits over and install them in the reflector boxes.

        But Sony doesn't make those anymore either.
        • 6 Years Ago
        dkw: you seem really confused as to what a tax incentive is. It does not involve giving anyone a dime of taxpayer money. There's no money to take and run with. The amount of tax revenue "lost" can not exceed that of having no plant built there at all, so no matter how you spin it, the taxpayer comes out ahead.

        A bailout on the other hand, that's money down the drain.
        • 6 Years Ago

        This one is real simple too.

        GM and Chrysler have secured a loan through the federal government.
        Loans are paid back with interest. The lender profits. They are not bailouts.

        Recent history: The "bailout" that Chrysler received in the early 80's, netted the tax payers a profit. Because it wasn't actually a bailout, it was paid back... with interest.

        Told ya it was easy!
        • 6 Years Ago
        I believe Kevin's point was (correct me if i'm wrong) that there were tax incentives given to those companies to get them to create jobs...... but neither decided to stay, and now those jobs are gone.

        "All the tax incentives in the world cant get Sony to build something there is no market for." Sony could very well have invested in the plant and made new LCD or Plasma TV's, but they didn't. They took Pennsylvania's money and ran.
      • 6 Years Ago
      No wonder some Southern Senators weren't keen on the domestic car-maker bailout.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Wait, there is a big difference between a federal loan to GM and Chrysler and with tax incentives for a company to locate in your state. Alabama/Tennessee/SC all laid out lots of incentive to attract foreign manufacturing in their states. I dont know about SC and Tenn, but I do know Alabama has made back the millions they invested in bringing manufacturing to the state. Hyundai alone invested over a billion in the plant and now employs over 2000 people. All those workers pay taxes, buy stuff, support local business. Basically the exact opposite of what is happening in Michigan.
        • 6 Years Ago
        $580 million < 12 Billion.

        Hmm, $580 Million invested to grow the economy, add jobs, add tax revenue, facilitate small business (as ancillary to VW) etc.


        12 Billion down a rat hole to keep Chrysler and GM on life support and slow the exact opposite of above.

        How is the differences here not not self evident?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Alabama Major Financial Incentives: Capital Investment Tax Credit; Site Preparation Grant Programs; Industrial Revenue Bonds; Alabama Industrial Access Road and Bridge Program; Alabama Economic Development Loan Program; Alabama Infrastructure Grant Program --- all used to GROW THE ECONOMY.

        Federal Aid to GM and Chrysler: 12 Billion directly from tax payers to cover business failures and shortcomings to avoid catastrophic job loss and urban decay. ----used to keep the ECONOMY FROM COLLAPSING

        See the difference?
        • 6 Years Ago
        You realize that you're posting that these are 'guaranteed jobs' under an article where the ground breaking was delayed two months at the last minute.

        A ground breaking is a ceremony that doesn't have to carry any real legal, financial or contractual meaning and canceling at the last second probably costs money.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No kidding. The Tennessee government has no problem giving VW $580 million for their new plant but opposed loaning the domestic automakers money because they believe in the free market, or some such nonsense. I guess they were really opposed to any more competition to their new German overlords.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sounds like a cover story to me. Is there any shame in admitting you have a cash crunch right now? It's just difficult to find the money for huge capital improvements like this.

      I'm sure the project will go forward at some point. I'm not as sure that it will turn out to be a big win for VW.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "the opening of a new school for the German-speaking children of VW employees"

      So many of the jobs at this plant are for non-US citizens that a school is actually needed for the employees that have children who do not speak English??

      Well, I'm glad to see that the plant built in Tennessee is employing those who live in Tennessee. (maybe they're from across the border in Frankfort)

      (and yes, I'm aware that this will provide jobs to some people, I just found that kind of ironic)
        • 6 Years Ago

        It seems like YOU have completely missed the point here.

        1) How many Germans are coming to the US to work at a plant in Tennessee to require that a new school be built for the children of those employees? (Easy answer = a significant number)

        2) If a US company built a plant in Tennessee, then the number of workers "imported" to work at the facility would be near zero. What a concept... a plant in the US that hires US workers!!! (Point here is, it would mean better jobs for Americans, fewer Americans on unemployment, and a larger benefit to the US economy)

        3) I didn't say that the plant wouldn't provide any jobs to people in Tennessee, I just meant that if a US company was there instead, then it would be more AMERICAN citizens who had jobs, and were buying houses, eating at restaurants, subscribing to cable, and NOT being unemployed. You can't deny that it would be more beneficial to the US economy if that were the case.

        Nice thought you had there, btw.... Americans can work minimum-wage jobs at restaurants and the mall and the movie theater to help make life nicer for the "educated, well paid" Germans.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Way better to have Germans invading than Mexicans IMO
        • 6 Years Ago
        Even if EVERY employee at the VW plant is German (not true) the influx 1,000 educated well paid Germans would be a boost to the economy. They would 1000 places to live, they would have 1000 families to feed, 1000 more cable subscribers, 1000 more tax payers, 1000 more restaurant patrons, 1000 more move theater goers, 1000 more mall shoppers, etc. etc. The point is the influx of VW employees combined with local hires equates to the growth of the local economy and tax base. Again, the exact opposite of Michigan
        • 6 Years Ago

        I would define an American as a citizen of the United States.

        That was pretty easy.

        (in case you didn't know, which apparently you don't, you don't have to be an American citizen to work in this country)
        • 6 Years Ago
        I am confident Tenn would welcome any US company wanting to relocate to Memphis or Chattanooga. In fact I believe GM did just that when things were a little better for them. I am all for providing incentive for ANY company to move to our shores and all for every state aggressively pursuing US companies to grow and build new factories and plants.

        What US Auto company has asked for aid in building a new plant in the south? Has there been a bias towards foreign companies in the south or is it that they are the only ones in growth positions the last few years?

        The point is you create a conducive environment for business and it thrives and grows. When you do the opposite it flounders. For a working example please compare Michigan and Alabama manufacturing. Which is trending upwards and which is trending down?
        • 6 Years Ago
        dkw: how exactly do you define Americans? Because these people would have to become American citizens, so what are you some sort of xenophobe?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ok so why don't we allow a nice invasion then? So many new people to feed, clothe, educate and give cable tv service to. That should boost the economy right?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Oh yes I forgot that there's a sign around lady liberty's neck that reads "NO VACANCY". Show me a town that thinks it's better for them to have less people and I'll show you a town full of inbred hicks.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Nice hyperbole but if you remove the image if "invasion" and replace it with controlled immigration - you are actually correct.
        • 6 Years Ago

        pure and simple: if you want to do the most benefit for the US economy, purchase products made in the US from US-owned companies.

        As far as Michigan goes, times are rough, but don't overlook the investment that has been made. (It's not as simple as the overall state employment trending up or down):
        * GM built a brand new plant in Lansing Delta Township, Michigan to build the Lambda vehicles.
        * GM has stated that the Chevy Volt will be manufactured in Flint, Michigan.
        * Ford is revamping it's Michigan Truck plant in Wayne, Michigan for new small-car production.

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