DETROIT (Feb. 18, 2010)—Volkswagen A.G.'s new U.S. assembly plant will rely on 16 key component suppliers that will assemble and sequence parts in adjacent buildings.
VW will begin construction of the on-site supplier park next month, says Guenther Scherelis, a spokesman for the Chattanooga, Tenn., project.
Volkswagen's sourcing of parts for an unnamed mid-sized sedan is now 97-percent complete, Scherelis says.
Although the $1 billion Chattanooga venture has its own on-site purchasing operation, the new sedan will share a large number of components with the next-generation Jetta, which begins production this summer in Puebla, Mexico.
Parts contracts worth $307 million a year have been awarded to suppliers with plants in Tennessee, VW said last week.
SL America, a South Korean supplier with a plant in Clinton, Tenn., said last week that it will hire 300 workers and spend $35 million to expand production of automatic shifter assemblies for VW.
SL supplies a range of U.S. auto makers, including General Motors Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. Clinton is about 115 miles from the new VW plant.
VW's Chattanooga supplier park will employ about 500 parts workers once the German auto maker reaches full production of 150,000 vehicles a year.
Separately, VW said last week that it has hired its first 22 vehicle assembly workers.
VW said parts from the supplier park will include seats, brakes, center consoles, axles, exhaust systems, headliners, and front and rear fascias.