US Media Site


Jul 14, 2014

Ladies and gentlemen,
I would also like to welcome you to Wolfsburg.

And above all, I send my best wishes to Tennessee, to our colleagues at Volkswagen in Chattanooga.

The United States of America is and will remain one of our most important markets – both for the Volkswagen brand and for the entire Group.

Over the past few years, we have achieved a lot in the US:

  • Audi and Porsche are growing at above-average rates and reporting sales record after sales record.
  • Since 2009, the Volkswagen brand has practically doubled its sales.
  • And with the Chattanooga plant and the US Passat a firm foundation for further growth is laid.

But we do know: this alone will not be enough.

Therefore, we are now speeding up the pace:
Within the framework of our Strategy 2018, Volkswagen is once again expanding its involvement in the US.

In this context, the future Volkswagen midsize SUV has a key role to play.

This vehicle will be a real American – large, attractive and with many high-tech features on board. Above all, the midsize SUV will be made by real Americans.

From 2016, this vehicle will roll off production line at the Chattanooga plant – as second core model in addition to the Passat.

This major decision was taken by the Board of Directors of Volkswagen Group of America last Friday.

So: Our midsize SUV will be a car “made in Chattanooga”!
A car “made in the US”!

And I think that is fantastic news –
for Volkswagen, for Tennessee and for the entire automobile country USA.

  • Because this means investments of US$900 million in the further expansion of the plant.
  • Because this means 2,000 new, additional jobs at Volkswagen.

Plus many other new jobs with local suppliers.

  • And last but not least, this is a strong sign of Volkswagen’s long-term commitment to the region.

These days, the comeback of the US as an industrial production location is high on the agenda.

And I believe that Volkswagen has a leading role to play in this success story.

At this point, I would like to thank everybody, who has made this decision for Chattanooga possible. Above all:  Governor Haslam, Senator Corker and Mayors Berke and Coppinger.

Thank you all for your strong support and confidence in Volkswagen.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In the US, the Volkswagen brand will continue to play an attacking game.

  • We want to bring the most innovative and vehicles onto the roads in America. Vehicles like the new Golf made in North America, which was successfully launched a few days ago.
  • And, above all, we want to answer more effectively and even faster to the wishes of US-customers.

Thus, Volkswagen is not only expanding production facilities.
It is also establishing a new, big development and design center.

At this center, about 200 highly qualified engineers will work specifically on meeting the requirements of the North American market.

  • This will strengthen our development competence in the region.
  • And this will also ensure that we keep our eyes even more closely on the US market and on the wishes of American drivers in the future.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The midsize SUV, the expansion of Chattanooga and the new development center – all this mark the start of the second phase in Volkswagen’s US campaign.

By 2018, the Volkswagen Group will be investing a total of €7 billion in North America – in new products, additional capacities and innovative, eco-friendly technologies.

Over the next few months, we will be initiating additional measures to keep the Volkswagen brand on track for success. So better watch out for more good news…

Our big objective is clear: by 2018, the Volkswagen brand wants to sell about 800,000 vehicles per year in the US.

We are working towards this goal!
And our team will do all it takes to reach it!

Thank you very much!
I look forward to further good cooperation in the future!