VW’s Tennessee Plant Set to Expand for Millions

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VW Tennessee Plant

Famous for keeping it local, the Tennessee Volkswagen plant has just agreed to give a Lexington construction firm a contract to the tune of $33.6 million. That’s over $3 million that Volkswagen will inject directly into the local Chattanooga and Lexington economy for an expansion that’s going to take the US VW arm to the next level. According to reports, Gray Construction Company was awarded the contract at the end of 2014 and will be charged with making the tech center, body shop and assembly finish bigger, better and more efficient than ever.

The expansion comes on the heels of news that Volkswagen’s brand new mid-sized SUV sport line is going to start rolling off the assembly line at Enterprise South Industrial Park. According to Volkswagen’s spokespeople, the entire worldwide expansion investment is $900 million. However, in total there’s $600 million now invested in Tennessee—along with 2,000 jobs created for Hamilton County.

A Lesson in Local

Not only has VW played an integral part in bolstering Tennessee’s economy, they’ve also revolutionized education and trade training. In Tennessee, community college students can apply for the Volkswagen program where the plant becomes their campus and university. They’re trained directly under Volkswagen experts and, assuming they receive passing marks, are guaranteed a job upon graduation. Now that the expansion is scheduled, students and workers alike are about to have even more modern tech at their fingertips.

According to the contract with Gray Construction Company, a $2.2 million contingency amount has been set and stipulates that the total contract can’t go beyond the $35.8 million mark. Currently, the contract is allowing for just over $21 million for body shop expansion, a little over $7 million for assembly finish and nearly $5 million is reserved for the technical center.

What’s in Store

Volkswagen has also confirmed that a new National Research & Development and Planning Center of Volkswagen Group of America will be created. This is where design engineers will gather to focus exclusively on boosting Volkswagen in the US. Local reports point out that Weitz Company was also on VW’s radar for potentially becoming their contracting partner, with the company bidding at $36.5 million, just a smidge higher than Gray Construction. Walbridge Aldinger was also in the running with a nearly $39 million bid.

The completion date has yet to be made official, but one thing is certain: Volkswagen is claiming a bigger stake in the American market and has done wonders to improve the Tennessee economy. Now the German auto leader is on to even more impressive feats.

Which VW Stereotype are You?

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What you drive says a lot about you, whether you’re behind a classic VW van or you’re rocking one of Volkswagen’s hybrid models. It’s all in jest, but you probably have a few stereotypes yourself when it comes to cars. Maybe you think the guy with the Napoleon complex in a monster truck is compensating, or the middle-aged driver in a sports coupe is having a crisis. But what does your Volkswagen choice say about you? Here are a few common (mis?)conceptions to consider:

VW Golf and Teacher

1. Teachers love Golfs

According to Car Throttle, teachers love Golfs and that makes sense. They want something safe, reliable and with excellent gas mileage for those daily commutes. Plus, the Golf scored Motor Trend’s Car of the Year title for 2015, and a teacher is no fool. If you can trust them to educate your child, you can certainly trust them to make smart decisions when purchasing a vehicle.

Hippie VW

2. Vans and buses are for hippies

Call it a Mystery Machine or not, but there’s a certain type of person who’s fallen in love with the classic VW bus. Maybe you’re still enjoying the peace and love lifestyle, or maybe it’s a beloved relic from your teen years in the 60s or 70s. Whether it’s an ironic retro statement piece in the driveway or you’re one of the lucky few who never “sold out”, a Volkswagen bus never goes out of style.

Tiguan Soccer Mom

3. Tiguans are for the cool soccer parents

It’s not an SUV—it’s a crossover. You want plenty of room and space to haul the kids around, but you’re definitely not turning into your parents. Somewhere between luxurious, spacious sedan and the convenience of an SUV is the Tiguan. You’re also the go-to ride for any and all road trips, weekend warrior activities are a breeze and you’d never sacrifice style for functionality (you can have both!).

Cute VW Beetle

4. Beetles are a natural extension of your own cuteness

There’s something undeniably adorable about you—and your ride. Whether you have a classic, restored Beetle or one of the modern models, Slug Bug is your favorite game and you consider being called “cute” the ultimate compliment. However, you also know you can’t judge a book by its cover and you (and your ride) have plenty of power under the hood.

What does your Volkswagen say about you, and does it match your personality? With German engineering, oodles of accolades and a penchant for power matched with comfort, you know you’re dishing up a great impression.