Volkswagen: Local Reaction

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV_ – You don’t have to be a Volkswagen employee to take pride in what’s going on there.
Monday’s announcement may mean an employment opportunity for you or a family member.
And it could mean more business for your company.
Chattanooga leaders are looking at all those possibilities, and its a memorable day here in the Tennessee Valley.

RON HARR, PRES. & CEO, GREATER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE "Oh, what a great day for Volkswagen, and a great day for Chattanooga. The news we’ve all been hoping for several years now. "

The 7 passenger Cross Blue will indeed be built at Enterprise South, at the same plant that turns out the Passat.

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Former county mayor, and later Tennessee deputy governor Claude Ramsey is no longer in office, but he was one of the main players when the V-W plant came here in 2008. And the Governor kept him up to date on the latest developments.

CLAUDE RAMSEY, FORMER COUNTY MAYOR & DEP. GOVERNOR "He said, I just wanted to say thank you for the work you did to lay the ground work for all of this. He says, it doesn’t just happen."

It was Ramsey and then Chattanooga mayor Ron Littlefield who orchestrated an unprecedented clearing project at Enterprise South when Volkswagen scouts said they couldn’t actually see the property. And Ramsey was there when the original announcement was made in 2008.

CLAUDE RAMSEY "Never knew how big it was going to get..from the discussions we’d had about the original site …the original plant..we knew for it to work well it needed to be two vehicles and that was in the back of their mind the whole time."

RON HARR "200 of the 2000 jobs are planning and development jobs. They’re now, you know just assembly jobs in the plant ..We think that’s a really positive sign for the overall impact the company will have on the community."

CLAUDE RAMSEY "I think the 2000 jobs is just the beginning. There’ll be several thousand more that will come with suppliers."

In fact, the Volkswagen plant can take credit for creating more than 12-thousand jobs already…counting those who’ve already come with suppliers.

Southeast Tennessee reaps another windfall..thanks to hard work.