We've reached a new step in the ongoing drama at Volkswagen's factory in Chattanooga, TN. The United Auto Workers recently dropped its opposition to the union vote and agreed that it wouldn't hold another ballot for at least a year. Now, the new question becomes where VW is going to build its forthcoming midsize SUV.

Earlier, it had been considered all but certain that the SUV, likely a production version of the CrossBlue concept (pictured above), would be built in Tennessee. However, it seems the Chattanooga factory might have competition to produce it. In emails obtained by The Detroit News, VW's lawyer wrote to the Tennessee economic development department in January saying, "While we understand there are some 'non-deal' issues that are causing a delay in the TN solution, VW has been successful in reaching agreement on terms at the alternative locations."

As previously reported, the state of Tennessee allegedly offered VW about $300 million in incentives to build the vehicle there and create an estimated 1,350 jobs, but it later rescinded the deal. Newly leaked documents from NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) in Nashville allegedly show just how close that offer was to being completed. It appears that VW actually sent the government the first draft of a memorandum of understanding agreeing to the incentives, but the state removed the offer in late January.

Volkswagen boss Martin Winterkorn announced at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show that the midsize SUV was scheduled for its US launch in 2016, as a model designed specifically for North America. He also said the company would invest over $7 billion over the next five years. Time might be running out to find a production location. If not in Tennessee, the alternative would appear to be VW's assembly in Mexico.

Autoblog reached out to the Chattanooga factory and was given no comment. Scroll down to watch WTVF-TV's latest report on the newly leaked documents that it has.
NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather


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  • 136 Comments
      Avinash Machado
      • 7 Months Ago
      UAW needs to be dismantled.It has outlived its usefulness.
        WTF
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        Right! Humans are always altruistic when left to their own devices as far as you know, I guess they skipped lord of the flies at your unfunded public school. Maybe you ought to look into why unions came into existence then question the motives of our so called leaders.
      T1
      • 7 Months Ago
      The UAW created a wasteland in Detroit and drove jobs elsewhere and now want to continue with that model. The UAW has outlived its purpose. We need to stop driving good jobs away from the U.S. Maybe we could allocate some of our tax dollars to the UAW to make up for lost revenue or a sort of tribute payment. That way we'd keep the jobs here and attract new jobs. We want the job. If we didn't we'd not take it.
      reattadudes
      • 7 Months Ago
      this is toooo funny. Volkswagen is insistent that workers are organized and members of a works council; the right wing politicians are hell-bent to make their state the "we pay workers minimum wage to build your next car" state. ...and for those who doubt that, be totally aware both Nissan and Toyota allow workers to be considered "part time", and they get paid minimum wage, with no benefits. its a right winger's dream; buying a $35,000 vehicle assembled by folks making eight bucks an hour. I'll bet the quality will be outstanding! in almost every unionized automobile manufacturing facility in the US, employee parking lots are full of late model vehicles, usually of the manufacturer's brand. so, right wingers, how does that non-union, "part-time-with-no-benefits" employee EVER afford anything but a $500 beater? Senator Corker is a pompous ass, and always has been. back in 2009, when Congress was voting on the auto bailouts, he said, "let 'em die"......and then got into his Government-issued Chevrolet Suburban. when GM reopened their Spring Hill (TN) facility in 2011 to build the incredibly popular Terrain and Equinox, Corker had the audacity to get on stage to say "he helped save GM". the crowd booed him from the stage. and here he is again, lying, saying VW would take the new SUV production to Mexico if the union prevailed, when in reality, the exact opposite was true. I hope all of the right wing politicians are happy! and some wonder why the middle class is disappearing.
        brandon
        • 7 Months Ago
        @reattadudes
        Yes, so much of the population works on minimum wage. Also, your typical auto worker doesn't need more than minimum wage. As they are only better than a robot in consciousness. They have slight reason and logic that computers aren't yet built with. However, when the day of singularity comes, of even getting close to that point, idiot floor workers will be a thing of the past. They should be thanking their lucky stars they get minimum wage vs being unemployed. Maybe if they were more intelligent they could go to school to learn a trade, or specialize in a field, and make far more than minimum wage. Don't say it can't be done, because I am one that has done exactly this to earn a BSME. You are generally paid what you are worth. Typically floor workers aren't worth more than 8-12 an hour. (sometimes, in my experience, even less than that)
          reattadudes
          • 7 Months Ago
          @brandon
          boy, you're all over this subject, aren't you, Brandon?? perhaps when you get off of your soapbox, you might want to stand back and look at your words. if "so much of the population works at minimum wage" (and they should be, of all things, "better for it"!) then perhaps you could explain who is supposed to contribute to the GNP, with all of those "big" minimum wage dollars to spend. -who will be buying vehicles? -who will be buying homes? -who will have money to feed their families? -who could afford appliances, clothes, and anything else? I always get the biggest kick out of snug right wingers like yourself; you know why? because you are far from wealthy yourself, and respond well to the puppet strings your handlers have attached to you. you believe that ten dollar and hour job at Walmart (39.5 hours, ZERO benefits) is indeed a princely wage, even though you'll need food stamps to feed your family. and remember first and foremost: ALWAYS VOTE AGAINST YOUR OWN BEST INTERESTS. you master puppeteers are counting on that. and when your puppeteers finally give you the heave ho after you've voted for THEIR best interests, what becomes of you? just a lifeless, spineless puppet left lying on the floor. in the meantime, you should be celebrating when VW builds that new SUV in Mexico. you know, the country that believes in unions, and free healthcare for everyone. the republicans should be proud and teary-eyed....the US gets beat out by a third world country, because they are more advanced, progressive, and respect the rights of workers.
          brandon
          • 7 Months Ago
          @brandon
          LMAO. An anarchists is a puppet. Dude, you are wayyyyyy too funny. I care not about the wages of peons. I am a professional employee and I know what I am worth. If I feel that I am being treated unfairly, being of an in demand profession, I get to move where ever I would like. I have no issues getting a job, because guess what? I'm a good employee, and anyone hiring me knows that. They have, and can see, my body of work. When one is a nose picker at wallyworld, then they have no one to blame but themselves. I'm not voting against self interest, I am vote for self interest. I don't need a union to come in a save my bacon because my projects save my companies millions of dollars and they can't just get anyone idiot from walmart to do my job. If they could, then the average starting salary wouldn't be in the upper 50's while most other college grads are getting paid 30-45. I'm guessing you are so jealous because you are one of those aforementioned employees that aren't worth very much? Unprovable on my part, because I don't know you personally, but generally speaking, outside of NE liberal douchebags, people are for their own self interest and wouldn't idiot fast food workers getting a bigger piece of my pie. Also, if you had a professional job, you would realize that raising wages doesn't usually increase productivity. Therefore allowing that money to just be squandered. Next, I am far from a "right winger". In fact, my beliefs are probably far more "liberal" than yourself. (Look up the actual work and compare it with anarchy) I believe in personal freedom. Do you understand what that means? That means no government interference to rob me of my *liberties*. Dealing with an employer, not that you would understand this, is a private contract. If I don't like it.......* I don't have to work for them*......Neither do you, or anyone else that is "disappointed" in their wages. Also, the article below debunks all your cute little talking points. Learn to think outside your cable news network.
          brandon
          • 7 Months Ago
          @brandon
          Crickets.......
      Neez
      • 7 Months Ago
      Type your comment hereI don't know why people keep talking about minimum wage in these threads. Most of the assembly line workers are getting from $15-$20 per hour depending on job function and skill. That's a fair wage for someone with just a high school diploma, if that. $25-$30 like at union plants just actually unfair, they are pushing way to close to wages of professionals which spend 4-6 years at university and worked hard to get what they have. Unlike an assembly line worker that just has to know how to fill out a job application. And remember, when the car company is doing well, overtime is available in abundance, workers can make a killing in overtime. Minimum wage jobs aren't meant for lifers, i grew up from nothing, went to college and became a professional, my parents also had nothing when they came to this country and couldn't even speak english. No one in my family makes close to minimum wage, if you have a little drive and give some effort, you should make at least $15 an hour by finding a new job. I grew up in the ghetto for a portion of my life, i can tell you that most people there are super lazy. Wages should always be based on credentials, skill level, and employee performance. All of the jobs that pay minimum wages are extremely easy to do and require no skill, which is why they get paid minimum wage.
        brandon
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Neez
        Logic and reason serve no purpose in this conversation Neez. This is the autoblog where people are liars without proof of such accusations and anyone not Uber rich is working for peanuts at Walmart involuntarily.
        Robert Ivan
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Neez
        College is not for everyone, so what you are saying is if you don't get a diploma but break your back everyday you don't deserve to make a decent living...
          brandon
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Robert Ivan
          College may not be for everyone, but you can still learn a trade and make good money. Take welders for example. They make great money and most have never gone past high school. So if you are still to lazy to learn a trade and work at McDonald's the you deserve 8 dollars an hour. Get over it. You can only be felt sorry for so much when you are lazy.
      Jim Wilson
      • 7 Months Ago
      i dislike both parties,but this is typical of repubs and their anti union anti middle class ways,they got their way then pulled the rug out from under the workers that believed in their non union right to work ways,and if u think 15-20 dollars an hr is a truly livable wage to raise a family after taxes,ur in a dream world,u might meet ur basic necessities,but thats about it,people need to wake up,politicians and corporate america dont have ur best interests at heart,only their best interests,their ploy worked,got union voted down with their lies and scare tactics,now what have they got to rely,the goodness of the company to take care of them,lol
        brandon
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Jim Wilson
        Anti middle class. No, most of the real world that has put forth the effort to educate themselves, which clearly you aren't, feel they not be paid the same as illiterate like you. Also, idiots like you don't even understand what basic necessities are. 8 dollars an hour will provide for the basic necessities of a person. Then, if you can't afford to pay for yourself, then you shouldn't be procreating and expecting everyone else to pay for it. It's called personal responsibility. Jesus.
      GarySi
      • 7 Months Ago
      VW leaders said that they probably would not expand production in TN if workers weren't organized. US politicians lied and the (anti-Union) US Corporate Media didn't report that here.
        omgcool
        • 7 Months Ago
        @GarySi
        The majority of media in the US is more liberal-biased. Various statistics support this claim. Fox News gets picked on relentlessly because it's among the few major networks contrary. You went to public school, correct? No shame, I did too, and proud of it. There's a huge potential source of bias, though. It's excusable; my point is that really, liberal "brainwashing" far exceeds conservative "brainwashing" everyone is up in arms about. Yet liberals like to think they're the ones "thinking outside the box" and free from external pressure. They're arguably more f'd up than the strict conservatives. BTW, I'm a centrist/independent. Not here to pick fights--only to state it like I've noticed.
          GarySi
          • 7 Months Ago
          @omgcool
          The point is, the Media did not accurately report VW's position, or the likely consequences of an anti-Union vote at the Tennessee VW plant. The Media has been skewing Right since the early 70s. This has to do with what Walter Cronkite did (Vietnam War) and what and Lewis Powell did (Powell Memo). Most of the Corporate Media has almost caught up with Faux News.
      Tariff The Imports
      • 7 Months Ago
      Go Union. Or go 3rd World.
        TruthHertz
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Tariff The Imports
        Tariff, you do realize that a large portion of why GM and Chrysler went insolvent was due to the UAW. Part A was the mounting pensions and obligations that couldn't be fullfilled and part B was not being able to construct a quality and competitive vehicle at a price point due to the unjustifiably high cost of UAW labor to build their offerings. Offerings that were subpar because making them up to par with the competition would have made them too expensive. How about Detroit trying to file bankruptcy because of all their pension obligations for the unionized public works employees? With OSHA, the Department of Labor, ACLU, and many other acronyms, there is plenty of protection for the American worker that doesn't justify the existence of an entity that skims workers paychecks only to squander the money and send the rest to a SINGLE political party. Here's your sign...
          Welcome, Gary!
          • 7 Months Ago
          @TruthHertz
          So called Truth, if you don't know the facts you shouldn't be running your mouth and proving that you are just an ill informed, Faux News watching rethuglican lackey. NO UNION DUES GO TO POLITICAL PARTIES! I repeat, no union dues go to political parties. Those monies come from a strictly voluntary CAP fund which union members give to the union over and above the monthly union dues. Funny I don't hear you complaining about any Koch brothers companies giving to one political party.
          tcrydrs2010
          • 7 Months Ago
          @TruthHertz
          you are so full of hot air.....who are you a koch brother cousin.....what a dumas
          brandon
          • 7 Months Ago
          @TruthHertz
          @ Gary, Why would, or should anyone care of the Koch brothers give their money to a specific political party? What business is it of yours? Maybe you should disclose all your political contributions? At some point in your life your should realize the irony of whining about the Koch brothers while simultaneously calling people ignorant for watching faux news. You are no better than those that you whine about. You are just parroting what you heard on your brand of cable news.
          brandon
          • 7 Months Ago
          @TruthHertz
          It, along with other social programs, clearly doesn't work. As I illustrated the first time you brought this up above.
        brandon
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Tariff The Imports
        "go union and turn third world" Fify. Thank Detroit.
          Tariff The Imports
          • 7 Months Ago
          @brandon
          Right To Work is right to 3rd Wokd.
          carguy1701
          • 7 Months Ago
          @brandon
          You DO know that the rest of the industrialized world has unions, right? They seem to be doing quite fine.
          brandon
          • 7 Months Ago
          @brandon
          Lmao. Have you ever been South? Yeah, I didn't think so. Heck, you don't even know the difference between work and world. So clearly we should listen to you.
          brandon
          • 7 Months Ago
          @brandon
          Yeah, if by fine you mean consistently at least 1-3%higher unemployment than us, then sure. Then, compare that with us having consistently higher UE than most developing nations from regulations and minimum wages. So sure, keep telling yourself that.
      Beads Underfoot
      • 7 Months Ago
      Nazi Germany did not let workers organize or allow the right of assembly for citizens/workers either...Germany learned from its past whereas the US has not. Volkswagen fully understand the importance of working "together" for the greater good, as opposed to working for the betterment of a few
        brandon
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Beads Underfoot
        It's hilarious when the simpltons like you refuse to realize how many of the nazi's policy were populist, statist, and mirroring that of what your side promotes. I'm so happy you found the one policy that goes counter to your party, but generally speaking you should do a little more research.
      WAYNE
      • 7 Months Ago
      Knowing the Germans and the fact that they told Wal Mart to get the hell out of their country because of the ways they abused their employee's I see that plant closing within 5 years
      brandon
      • 7 Months Ago
      Since some here are too stupid to understand what a *lie* is. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lie "an inaccurate or false statement; a falsehood." There is no proof whatsoever that what Senator Jack..A$*s was false. None. Unless someone wants to present some watergate style tapes or something, there is no way to know what, if any, communications that he had with VW. None, and to claim so is an outright lie. SEE THE DIFFERENCE? If regional VP at nissan tells me that there is no way for a Nissan to accept the UAW and pick up XYZ car, then maybe I believe him, maybe I don't. However, that doesn't change the fact that if I tell someone else, or the public, what I was told, that I am a liar. This is an example of how Crocksucker could have not lied. Did he? WE DON'T KNOW. If you are dumb enough to believe your brand of media when they say otherwise, you should be taken out of the genepool. As you clearly aren't smart enough to procreate. You are the problem.
        autoworker2014
        • 7 Months Ago
        @brandon
        Okay, so you won't believe the fact that Corker's statement is non-factual, but you ridicule people for believing "faux news." Why is it "faux," brandon? Are you accusing them of lying? Would you care to prove it? I like your strategy though. You fail the test of the argument so you simply begin making statements at the top of the discussion. It won't change a thing, brandon. You're still failing and all your name calling does nothing but cause you to fail even more.
          brandon
          • 7 Months Ago
          @autoworker2014
          Where did I say I don't believe it is "non-factual"? I explicitly said, it's TRUTH can't be proven. Therefore, to call it a lie is a lie itself. To say it is the truth is a lie as well. If you bothered, or can, read my comments, I have said all along we don't know the truth of his statements. The claim of "lie" is a lie. Also, Fox is just as guilty of cherry picking facts as the rest. However, a half truth is a whole lie. Therefore they wear the "faux" moniker. MSNBC, CNN, etc are all just as bad about this.
          autoworker2014
          • 7 Months Ago
          @autoworker2014
          "However, a half truth is a whole lie." Thank you. Corker told a lie, period. Whether he was told what he claims he was told or not, it is not the truth, therefore it is a lie. But we know he lied anyway. Thanks for playing. ;)
          brandon
          • 7 Months Ago
          @autoworker2014
          Dude, reading comprehension. He may or may not have told a half lie. WE DON"T KNOW. Jesus man. Seroiusly? It's not a half truth *if* he was told what he repeated. WE, or at least no one that wasn't a part of the alleged conversation, knows exactly what was or wasn't discussed. Damn man. Stop being so dense. We don't know anything, despite what *you* believe. As I illustrated above, one can be told something and it be a lie. You can claim what he said was hearsay, but you can't claim it was a lie based on the information available.
      Vwfanatic
      • 7 Months Ago
      Volkswagen should use the $7 billion investment to construct an alternate plant in Michigan to build not only the CrossBlue SUV; but also move Passat assembly to Michigan when the Tennessee Tax incentives expire.
      Scott Satellite
      • 7 Months Ago
      Ah, so they scared the workers into voting against unionization, then the state pulled the incentives they dangled to create that outcome. Color me shocked. NOT.
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