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."



City Council Approves Kyle Hedrick As New Administrative Hearing Officer

The City Council on Tuesday approved Kyle Hedrick as the city's first administrative hearing officer. City Attorney Wade Hinton said the establishment of a second administrative hearing officer should come in late September or early October. Officials said former City Judge Walter Williams has been pegged for that spot. Donna Williams, economic development director, said $59,500 ... (click for more)

City Council Approves David Roddy As Police Chief In 8-1 Vote

The City Council on Tuesday night voted 8-1 to approve David Roddy as police chief. Russell Gilbert cast the only no vote. Councilwoman asked that he be given a chance, saying the council could "hold him accountable" if problems arise. Chief Roddy became interim after the departure of Fred Fletcher. (click for more)

The Soul Of Chattanooga Is In Trouble

As a child growing up in the Chattanooga area, at an early age I became fascinated with the history that cloaks the city. In those days there was enough pollution to cover the town and its history but that didn't stop tourists from coming to visit Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and the Chickamauga battlefield.     Chattanooga's leadership was not very far sighted ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ordinary To Extraordinary

A handsome black guy, from the looks of it still in high school, appeared in a video during A Celebration of Valor luncheon at the Chattanooga Convention Center Tuesday afternoon and described a Medal of Honor winner. Easily over 500 were there, including our famed Charles Coolidge, and all heard this young achiever say, “A Medal winner if an ordinary person who performs in an extraordinary ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Gets Revenge With Boyd-Buchanan

The Notre Dame volleyball team may have felt they let one get away in the championship match of the Hixson Invitational Saturday afternoon against the Boyd-Buchanan Lady Buccaneers, but they were bound to not let it happen again. At least, not during a home match against these same Lady Bucs Tuesday evening in the rowdy confines of their Jack Steiner Sr. Gymnasium. The Lady ... (click for more)

Despite Sloppy Finish, Lady Raiders Sweep McMinn

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Cleveland High School’s volleyball team came close to completely satisfying its coach Tuesday. The Lady Raiders then got lazy. Coach Trish Flowers, who has another state tournament contender on her hands this season, let the squad feel her displeasure in the postgame huddle. “I was within just a few minutes of being in a good mood,” said Flowers, ... (click for more)