VW Chattanooga President Disputes Corker Statement On New Line Of SUVs And Union Vote; Corker Retorts

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Frank Fischer, CEO and chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga, on Thursday disputed a statement made by Senator Bob Corker at a press conference on Wednesday.

Mr. Fischer said, “There is no connection between our Chattanooga employees’ decision about whether to be represented by a union and the decision about where to build a new product for the U.S. market.”

Later in the morning, Senator Corker replied, "Believe me, the decisions regarding the Volkswagen expansion are not being made by anyone in management at the Chattanooga plant and we are also very aware Frank Fischer is having to use old talking points when he responds to press inquiries.

“After all these years and my involvement with Volkswagen, I would not have made the statement I made yesterday without being confident it was true and factual."

Senator Corker said Wednesday that Chattanooga will be getting the production of a second line of vehicles as long as the UAW is not voted in by employees.

He said, “I’ve had conversations today and based on those am assured that should the workers vote against the UAW, Volkswagen will announce in the coming weeks that it will manufacture its new mid-size SUV here in Chattanooga.”

His staff said, "As mayor of Chattanooga from 2001-2005, worked with officials and community leaders to develop the 1,200 acre Enterprise South Industrial Park, which is now home to Volkswagen's North American manufacturing headquarters.

"Much of the negotiation that led to Volkswagen choosing Chattanooga occurred around the dining room table of Corker’s Chattanooga home."

The voting began Wednesday and continues through Friday.

VW officials said, "Volkswagen has invested $1 billion in the local economy for the Chattanooga plant and has created more than 5,000 jobs in the region. According to independent studies, the Volkswagen plant is expected to generate $12 billion in income growth and an additional 9,500 jobs related to its investment."

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