CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — The German auto maker Volkswagen is celebrating five years in Tennessee.
The company's vehicle assembly plant in Chattanooga produces the Volkswagen Passat, and more than 150,000 of them were built in 2012.
Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce President Ron Harr says VW's investment spared the area the worst effects of the Great Recession
“Five years ago when Volkswagen made their announcement, the United States and the rest of the world was entering into a serious economic decline, and it really protected Chattanooga in some ways from the severity of that decline.”
Harr cites a recent economic impact study by the University of Tennessee that outlines the plant’s contribution to the local economy. The study shows that VW’s Tennessee employees are paid more than $640 million in annual salaries alone.