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Volkswagen Hiring 800 U.S. Workers To Meet Passat Demand

Volkswagen of America, Inc., a subsidiary of German automaker Volkswagen AG (VOW.DE,VLKAF.PK,VKW.L), announced Thursday that it is hiring an additional 800 workers at its Chattanooga, Tennessee-based plant in order to meet demand for its popular Passat mid-sized sedan.

"This is a clear sign that the plant ramp-up has been successful and is a validation that the Passat is of the highest quality. Our plant was designed to be flexible in order to respond to market demand and I'm proud that we've achieved this so quickly," said Frank Fischer, CEO and Chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga.

The move comes just under three months after Volkswagen announced in early January that it will be hiring 200 additional employees, bringing the total employees to 2,700 at the Chattanooga plant. This brings the the total new jobs created by Volkswagen in 2012 to 1,000.

The Chattanooga plant is the world's only LEED certified Platinum manufacturing facility that was opened in May 2011 to build the all-new 2012 Volkswagen Passat sedan, specially designed for the North American market. It is one of the world's most advanced and energy-efficient assembly plants.

The company noted that the addition of workers has accelerate its implementation of the third team to meet the customer demand. The company added, "We came to Tennessee with a commitment to hire 2,000 people and we are proud that we are now growing our team to over 3,000."

Volkswagen's Chattanooga-made Passat passenger car is one of the top-selling vehicles in a U.S. market that increasingly values fuel efficiency. The worker additions are expected to boost production of the car by about 20,000 to 170,000 cars. In the first two months of the year, Volkswagen sold 14,500 Passat sedans.

To meet the market demand, the plant was working daily overtime. The workforce addition will now enable the company to extend its weekly production capacity, while also reduce the amount of worker overtime.

"Our original commitment to invest $4 billion into the U.S. market continues to grow, with a parts depot announced last week and now another further commitment to employment here in Chattanooga," said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.

According to independent studies, the new Volkswagen plant is expected to generate $12 billion in income growth and an additional 9,500 jobs related to the project in the future.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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